For the first time in human history the urban population outnumbers the rural one. This is both due to villages growing to become towns and cities, and migration of the rural population to urban cities.

The Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in southern Sumatra (Indonesia) has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2004. Home to tigers, elephants, and rare Sumatran rhinos, the Park is also home to numerous squatters since the early 1970s. Part of the Park was restored after forcible evictions in the 1980s. However, since the end of General Suharto's authoritarian rule in 1998, the number of squatters has been on the increase.

This paper analyzes the dynamics of population growth and urban expansion in the city of Xalapa, Mexico. It focuses on the establishment of informal settlements, which are one of the many threats to forest and farmland conservation (although these settlements are not the only source of the problem). Spatial analysis of growth data (using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and statistical modelling) showed that by 2007, 90 per cent of the land area in the municipality of Xalapa had already been altered by human activity.

The Bagmati loses its way in Kathmandu amid political vacuum and urban chaos. The chaos and urban sprawl of today’s Kathmandu have taken a serious toll on the stretch of the Bagmati and its tributaries that meet in the city. In the absence of clear guidelines regulating river water use and diversion, the city extracts some 30 million litres of water each day from this seasonal river to quench its thirst, even in the dry season.

India has the world’s second largest urban population (after China). This paper shows the large disparities within this urban population in healthrelated indicators. It shows the disparities for child and maternal health, provision for health care and housing conditions between the poorest quartile and the rest of the urban population for India and for several of its most populous states.

Squatters' organizations are a notable driving force of civil society movements in Nepal. Their alliance, working on urban squatter issues, has been trying to change their strategy from one of confrontation with government authorities to one of collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including non-squatter neighbours. This paper reviews a decade of squatters' movement in Nepal.

The movement of inhabitants from a squatter settlement to a resettlement colony can be perceived as a rise in the status of slum dwellers. The slum dwellers of the resettlement colonies now have a better housing with security of tenancy. Also, they earn more than before, both in relative and absolute terms.

The redevelopment and beautification of the capital for the making of a "world-class city' have entailed a heavy cost in terms of slum demolitions. A survey documenting the change of land use that has taken place on the sites of demolished slum clusters highlights the emerging processes and trends. Some of its findings question the stated principle of the Delhi slum policy, namely, the removal and relocation of squatter settlements only when the land is required to implement projects in the "larger public interest'.

More than 300 destitute people of South Africa's Johannesburg city are currently facing eviction from their squats. The move is part of Johannesburg's inner-city regeneration programme ahead of the

This paper presents and discusses primary data from a survey of 1,070 households in four poor settlements in Mumbai comprising slum-and pavement-dwellers and squatters on the living environment and health conditions. The study attempts to examine the consequences of socio-economic and environmental factors in terms of income, literacy, sanitation and hygiene for morbidity.