Abandoned Tower of David Is The World’s Largest Vertical Slum, Caracas, Venezuela.
This unfinished 45-story skyscraper has stood in the center of Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, for almost 20 years. What was supposed to be the third-highest skyscraper in Venezuela is now the largest vertical slum in the world.
Over the past 8 years, however, people have begun inhabiting the building, turning it into a sort of self-sufficient city (there were about 750 families living in there in 2012).
Photographer and urban documentarian Iwan Baan has been capturing the lives of people all around the world and how they relate to the architecture and structures they inhabit. Besides his pictures of the Tower of David below, be sure to check out his TED talk about his work.
At least moving to the tower, away from Caracas’s notoriously violent slums, has meant a safer life, relatively, for his family. “It allowed us to move out of my mother-in-law’s, but I don’t feel like I own this place,” Cadena says. “I won’t lose hope of owning my own home.”
Cadena draws a policeman’s salary of 4,800 bolivares (£460 at the official rate, or just £40 unofficially), and sounds resigned more than angry at his situation. “My job isn’t important here, just like a teacher’s job isn’t important,” he says ruefully. “We are in charge of people’s safety and of our kids’ education, but the salaries you make from jobs like these mean we are not important.”
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Abandoned Tower of David Is The World’s Largest Vertical Slum, Caracas, Venezuela