The urbanization of Latin America has also lead to the urbanization of its poor. Today about half of the region's poor live in cities. Yet the phenomenon of urban poverty is not one that is well studied or well understood, and policy makers across Latin America are increasingly interested in policy advice on how to design programs and policies to tackle poverty. The Urban Poor in Latin America argues that the causes of poverty, the nature of deprivation, and the policy levers to fight poverty are to a large extent site-specific. As such, the book looks at strategies to assist the urban poor in making the most of the opportunities offered by cities (deeper labor markets, better amenities and services, greater freedom, and possibly less discrimination) while helping them cope with the negative externalities (high cost of housing and difficulty of obtaining shelter; risks to physical safety associated with pollution and environmental contamination, but also crime and violence; other congestion costs, more isolation and possibly less social capital).