the world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »


All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.


Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Articles
  3. Lecture: Mega-Cities, Urban Poverty and Planning / Janice E. Perlman

Lecture: Mega-Cities, Urban Poverty and Planning / Janice E. Perlman

Lecture: Mega-Cities, Urban Poverty and Planning / Janice E. Perlman

Janice E. Perlman, author, researcher and CEO of The Mega-Cities Project, discusses her work in this lecture at the Harvard GSD for the “Urbanization Seminar Series”. This in-depth lecture, titled “Mega-Cities, the Urban Poor and the Place of Planning” covers Perlman’s research and observation in India’s slums, noting the way people upgrade the status of the slum and their own opportunities through minor reforms on small-scales.

The term mega-city was defined by the U.N. in 1970s to categorize cities according to population.  The initial definition regarded cities with a population of eight million as being a mega-city and that number soon jumped to ten million.  A city that is a “mega-city” has no relationship to its economy.  It “does not equal a global city, it does not command global capital” necessarily.  Instead, “mega-city” is an interesting term because above all it defines a human condition.  It puts people, the social fabric of the city, at its center and opens the dialogue to discussions of urban issues and flows associated primarily with density.

This is the point of departure for Perlman’s lecture.  She discusses the intimate details of her projects and research, stories from people with whom she has lived and whom she has interviewed.  She makes it clear the improvement of a city is ineffective when it discounts the impoverished class: a critical resource, a labor force and brain power.

Perlman discusses small steps that took place within the slums of India that worked towards improving the status a “slum-dweller” with programs and intiatives that empowered a group of people used to living on the outskirts and constantly being harassed by authorities.  The initiatives that Perlman talks about include giving authoritative power to people, allowing them to choose how to live and giving them the opportunity to building their homes under better conditions.

For more information on Janice Perlman and The Mega-Cities Project, click here.

About this author
Irina Vinnitskaya

See more:

Cite: Irina Vinnitskaya. "Lecture: Mega-Cities, Urban Poverty and Planning / Janice E. Perlman " 14 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.