The slums (synonyms: shanty towns, projects; example toponyms: District Six, Dodger’s Lane) are an area within a town or city where the poorer residents are forced live. These neighborhoods are characterized by small houses or large apartment buildings, alleyways, and the criminal element. In narrative worlds, often heroes or rogues were raised in the slums before embarking on adventure. The slums are often home to thugs and pickpockets. It may be where one goes to hire an assassin. The slums may contain black markets, hideouts, brothels, drug dens, gambling dens, alleyways, sewers, rooftops, and more.
Designing Fictional Slums
Slums are typically not located in the most pleasant area, so when designing them consider elements that typically would not be lived near: landfills, sewer exits, factories, warehouses, power plants, or transportation infrastructure. There may be graffiti, advertisements, and bounty posters. The architecture of the slums will draw heavily from the genre, tone, and era of the world itself. Fantasy towns and London-esque city slums may feature dark cobblestone alleyways while the slums of cyberpunk megapolises may stand in the shadows of great arcologies.