At 45 stories, the Torre de David, or Tower of David, in Caracas, Venezuela is the world’s tallest slum.
Officially called the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, the skyscraper was originally going to be a bank. Construction started in 1990, but with the Venezuelan banking crisis, as well as the unexpected death of developer J. David Brillembourg (whose name was taken to grace the building), the work stopped in 1994. After that, it was abandoned, until in 2007 when squatters moved in.
While the Tower of David is often seen as a hotbed for crime, it is home for around 2,500 individuals. With a pooled rent, they’ve created their own electrical grid and aqueduct in a building that is still basically a concrete shell, and which was never intended for residential use. However, despite the community that was formed there in response to the ongoing housing crisis, there is always the danger of the towering height from the unfinished floors and walls that gape over the city.
Update: In 2014, the inhabitants of the tower were evicted and moved to various government housings around the city. The tower is now empty except for a few offices in the first few floors.