Slum Game
Beware of the ignorant and unimaginative.

As of 2003:


1.2 Billion People earned less than $1 per day


About 3 Billion People earned less than $2 per day


32% (924 Million) of urban residents lived in slums


By 2030 slum dwellers should increase to 2 Billion People

Important! Slum Game needs a better web page! Want to help?
Email Mike:

 Challenge: Design a slum

     1. You are allowed to say "that can't be done" ONLY when the proposed idea violates the laws of physics.
     2. Ideas may not be discarded out of hand, but only after a better idea has been proposed.
     3. Multiple "best solutions" exist.

     1. No aspect of the structure(s) may be modified after manufacture. (Similar to car construction today. You don't buy a generic spark plug and whittle it down to fit your engine.)
     2. Natural light, direct or indirect must be available within 5 meters of any given point in the structure(s).
     3. The structure(s) must be habitable with or without technological energy inputs, including but not limited to electricity, gas (propane, butane, etc.), etc. When technological energy inputs are not available other inputs must be able to be used (i.e. wood, cow dung, etc.).
     4. The building(s) must allow for adequate ventilation, delivery of clean water, removal of wastes, cooking, and cleaning (such as laundry).  
     5. You must be able to sterilize the material used for flooring.

Design Spectrum: (the end of the scale we are hoping to achieve)
     1. Expense: Low ($1000-3000 per household)
     2. Longevity: High (greater than 100 years)
     3. Safety: High (as or greater than current standards)
     4. Density (area): High (many people per hectare)
     5. Density (volume): Low (many square meters per person)
     6. Maintenance (structure): None for at least 50 years
     7. Maintenance (household): Few hours per week cleaning, etc.
     8. Public area (schools, shops, etc.): High
     9. Green space (including food gardens): High
     10. Protection from elements (sun, rain) and pests (rats, cockroaches): High
     11. Structure mass (materials): Low
     12. Construction speed: Fast (less than one year)
     13. Dirt work required for structure: Little to none
     14. Components: Fewer the better

How to play (there are several ways):
    1. Design a slum to the above specifications and post it at
Google's 3Dwarehouse.
    2. Check out
my design at Google's 3Dwarehouse, make it better!
    3. Offer information on materials, costs, etc. at the
Slum Game Blog

©M.Ferro 2009
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Slum Game Blog

The Challenge of the Slums 2003

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