The Vertical Slum of Caracas

This office building, abandoned just as the concrete dried, became home to hundreds of people eking out an existence in downtown Caracas. Christened the ‘Tower de David’, it came to be known worldwide as the world’s tallest vertical slum.

Watching the building sit unoccupied for many years, in 2007 some of the roughly 40% of Caraquenians living in self-erected housing decided to make use of this empty shell of a building. Within these 40 stories were shops, restaurants and a church, but no elevator. Each floor even sent representatives to building-wide meetings on the governance of the project.

Sadly, after the project gained international attention following interest from human development organisations, and allegations of organised crime involvement in the building, the Venezuelan government saw fit to evict and rehouse all occupants.

What was for seven years a hive of activity, and perhaps a vision of one possible future of urban dwelling, is today once again a concrete husk, nestled in the sheaf of the Caraquenian skyline. And just as before, it’s future remains uncertain.


Please read more, these articles are very good:

More info on the communities (lots of cool pics):

More info on the rise and fall:

An RT Piece on the occupants:


See Also:

Kowloon Walled City, a curious lawless city borne of the minutiae of international treaties. Something like this tower, except it stood for Decades!


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