Urban Poor Community Upgrading in Phnom Penh

Abstract
Phnom Penh is rapidly growing from day to day. In order to find economic opportunities to survive and live, thousands of migrants moved from rural areas to the urban center and dominate the steadily increasing informal settlement of the city. They need public support, often they live under fully inappropriate conditions.
According to the policy for urban management, the Municipality of Phnom Penh (MP) tries to facilitate and solve the problems intending to create a better environment of living for all stakeholders in the city.
One important aspect to improve the living conditions of the urban poor is security, especially secure housing . In the past 7 years, over 11,000 families have been evicted from their homes in central Phnom Penh. About two-thirds of these families have been resettled. Some relocation sites are appropriate to the needs of the people and they have opportunities to develop their community. But most of these resettled families are living without water, toilets, or flood protection in the resettlement colonies. There is no social infrastructure like schools, clinics or doctors and even transport is problematic since there are no paved roads, no public transport and only very limited access to job opportunities since they are often too far from the economic centers.
What if the people were given a chance to improve their settlements and transform slums into beautiful neighborhoods, proud parts of the city? The MP may learn from the experience of its neighboring countries, helping people to secure their land with housing rights and improve their living conditions in the city, rather than chucking them out. This would be not only for the benefit of the poor it would be also in the best interest of the city and the whole urban economy.