Sure local government should do these things, but when they don’t, we do it ourselves.
Favelas are a touchy subject here in Brazil. I think I covered this subject in my previous post (What’s wrong with favelas?), so I’ll just add a minimal pre-emptive clarification: I don’t think favelas are fun or cool, but I do think they are legitimately interesting.
Back in Britain it is common to hear people lament the decline of “community spirit”. Of course there are plenty of great community projects and kind, helpful people, but as a general trend, people have become less sociable with their neighbours over the last 50 or so years.
Many people in London (and other large cities I’m sure) hardly speak to the people who live next door or across the hallway. It’s not uncommon to hear of people dying alone in their apartments and only being discovered days (or more) later when neighbours notice the smell.
I used to think that this phenomenon of people closing themselves off from their neighbours was caused by the population movement from small towns and villages into large cities and conurbations. It seems a logical reaction to a reduction in living space: people put up metaphorical walls to counter the fact that they are living in such close proximity to each other. But if that were true, how could you explain favelas?