The United Nations has predicted that by 2050, 66% of the world population will be living in cities (United Nations, 2015). To house this growing urban population, new living settlements such as informal settlements, squatter housing or illegal subdivisions have been created, resulting in the creation of slums. In the inscription of Rio de Janeiro on the World Heritage List in 2012, the favelas (informal settlements) of Rio were designated as an important part of the cultural landscape of the city. This analysis considers the question “Can the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape lens be used to study informal urban settlements?”

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