Almost 900 million people currently live in informal settlements, aka slums. That will grow by one billion people over the next twenty years. That means globally approximately one third of all city dwellers live in slums. “5 Biggest Slums in the World”. Daniel Tovrov. International Business Times. December 9, 2011. State of the World's Cities Report 2012/2013: Prosperity of Cities". UNHABITAT. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
While it is difficult to live without basic infrastructure, many people living in slums work very hard to make their lives better. Contrary to wide-spread perception, slums are vibrant neighborhoods teeming with young and highly-motivated people. In 2012, the Economist claimed Kibera “may be the most entrepreneurial place on the planet” and that to “equate slums with idleness and misery is to misunderstand... them.” " Upwardly Mobile Africa: Boomtown Slum”. The Economist. 22 December 2012. Page 59.
The world’s major cities are experiencing huge population changes as people are increasingly moving into urban areas in search of work and a better life. Slum conditions are a worldwide trend, not only in places like Africa, India and Brazil, but also in the United States and Europe. Many cities are overwhelmed, underfunded and unable to provide enough services to their rapidly growing neighborhoods.
When it comes to HNP, a clean technology project focuses on using the latest technology to run our centers with a goal of being highly effective with minimal offsets to the environment. Bringing this level of clean and green equipment to urban slums and training our local staff how to use it also introduces a new market and opens up opportunities to impact places that clean technology otherwise does not reach. Additionally, clean technology gives those who are trained some very unique skills, opening up new job opportunities. Clean technology projects are not only high performance, but also better for the planet. Pretty cool, eh?
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