These makeshift communities are mesmerising and astounding feats of architecture

Three-car garages and big backyards are a common sight in the US, but they’re foreign in many other places.

Elsewhere, communities spring up by the people who build them, whether due to a lack of resources, political movement, or simply the will to survive after a natural disaster.

Not all of them are pretty, but design aesthetic isn’t always a consideration when you need a roof over your head.

Scroll down to see some of the most harrowing feats of construction around the world.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#kowloon-walled-city-hong-kong-erected-between-1950-and-1994-mostly-by-immigrants-the-walled-city-was-119-times-denser-than-new-york-city-1″
title=”Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong. Erected between 1950 and 1994 mostly by immigrants, the walled city was 119 times denser than New York City.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55ca35e2dd0895f46e8b464d/image.jpg”
source=”Greg Girard”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://cityofdarkness.co.uk/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-packed-region-was-essentially-lawless-dentists-operated-without-licenses-as-did-food-and-textile-manufacturers-2″
title=”The packed region was essentially lawless. Dentists operated without licenses, as did food and textile manufacturers.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55ca35e2dd0895f46e8b464f/image.jpg”
source=”Greg Girard”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://cityofdarkness.co.uk/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#living-conditions-were-bleak-devoid-of-sunlight-the-inner-workings-were-dank-dark-and-impossibly-confined-3″
title=”Living conditions were bleak. Devoid of sunlight, the inner workings were dank, dark, and impossibly confined.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55ca35e2dd0895f46e8b4657/image.jpg”
source=”Greg Girard”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://cityofdarkness.co.uk/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#still-many-experienced-their-formative-years-in-the-city-when-it-was-torn-down-in-1994-to-make-room-for-a-park-more-than-33000-peopled-called-kowloon-home-4″
title=”Still, many experienced their formative years in the city. When it was torn down in 1994 to make room for a park, more than 33,000 peopled called Kowloon home.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa0dd08952f3a8b4704/image.jpg”
source=”Greg Girard”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://cityofdarkness.co.uk/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#rio-de-janeiro-brazil-scattered-along-the-sides-of-the-citys-mountains-are-hundreds-of-densely-packed-favelas–or-shanty-towns-5″
title=”Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Scattered along the sides of the city’s mountains are hundreds of densely packed favelas — or shanty towns.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa0dd08952f3a8b4705/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by dany13/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/dany13/10422262646/in/photolist-gSYPzy-4AGQEx-jnFG-d8YtTE-7VhRir-4xjdoS-4xf2qz-4pbx1V-3d3rdn-4mSZtt-rNKBYk-4xjcVN-4AhdLN-8UdcC-4AMgom-b4KjFa-5VPPFQ-gRVAe7-4AzC7s-b4Knq6-4AvkGn-b4KjT6-sTGvS-cpAZr1-8wuv4P-71mJBJ-2TWLWf-gRVyVz-Lj2Li-4AGSy4-gRVyNk-5gcG-bsRX6P-bsRKD8-92DKKN-4pfBh7-rXqzCf-LvBhY-7KdcMr-4AGRPt-71hK3F-5vFmgU-gJoyeX-4E56F9-LvKq8-bsSfMH-9YoghX-apyah-8FK4po-4AGTrF”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-first-favelas-were-built-by-soldiers-during-the-late-19th-century-since-then-theyve-gained-notoriety-for-their-iconic-look-and-strong-ties-to-drug-crime-more-than-a-quarter-of-brazilians-live-in-these-communities-6″
title=”The first favelas were built by soldiers during the late 19th century. Since then, they have gained notoriety for their iconic look and strong ties to drug crime. More than a quarter of Brazilians live in these communities.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa0dd08952f3a8b4706/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by dany13/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/dany13/10410315896/in/photolist-gRVAe7-4AzC7s-b4Knq6-4AvkGn-b4KjT6-sTGvS-cpAZr1-8wuv4P-71mJBJ-2TWLWf-gRVyVz-Lj2Li-4AGSy4-gRVyNk-5gcG-bsRX6P-bsRKD8-92DKKN-4pfBh7-rXqzCf-LvBhY-7KdcMr-4AGRPt-71hK3F-5vFmgU-gJoyeX-4E56F9-LvKq8-bsSfMH-9YoghX-apyah-8FK4po-4AGTrF-rr8BF9-7HejKo-3wR4D8-92DLfQ-4VBfZF-wiWXmk-5Xen8F-ck8xJ1-92DQ17-4xeZc4-bKsznv-3wVua1-8FK4qw-5HmzAs-uonea-5XenBv-92ADf6″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#for-both-the-olympics-and-world-cup-police-have-pacified-many-favelas-often-curbing-violence-in-order-to-accommodate-the-thousands-of-tourists-staying-in-the-city-many-favela-residents-see-pacification-as-an-invasion-of-their-communities-however-7″
title=”For both the Olympics and World Cup, police have ‘pacified’ many favelas, often curbing violence in order to accommodate the thousands of tourists staying in the city. Many favela residents see pacification as an invasion of their communities, however.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa0dd08952f3a8b4707/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by Milton Jung/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/cbnsp/6605969807/in/photolist-b4KjFa-5VPPFQ-gRVAe7-4AzC7s-b4Knq6-4AvkGn-b4KjT6-sTGvS-cpAZr1-8wuv4P-71mJBJ-2TWLWf-gRVyVz-Lj2Li-4AGSy4-gRVyNk-5gcG-bsRX6P-bsRKD8-92DKKN-4pfBh7-rXqzCf-LvBhY-7KdcMr-4AGRPt-71hK3F-5vFmgU-gJoyeX-4E56F9-LvKq8-bsSfMH-9YoghX-apyah-8FK4po-4AGTrF-rr8BF9-7HejKo-3wR4D8-92DLfQ-4VBfZF-wiWXmk-5Xen8F-ck8xJ1-92DQ17-4xeZc4-bKsznv-3wVua1-8FK4qw-5HmzAs-uonea”
]

[slide
permalink=”/#the-2011-occupation-of-new-yorks-zuccotti-park-offered-a-non-hierarchical-alternative-to-top-down-capitalism-29″
title=”The 2011 occupation of New York’s Zuccotti Park offered a non-hierarchical alternative to top-down capitalism.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa1dd08952f3a8b471c/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by David Shankbone/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/6251196079/in/photolist-awp1NK-awrPDb-aD84x2-atFhwC-aCbKAN-ax9XLm-aETApL-aETAbJ-aEPKRP-aDfSdp-ax64HA-axSJMg-atLTmq-atMXu7-awJKPn-aEPJAc-avhfVV-bDwWB1-aE6zMR-aEPKYP-axSjaz-aw97yu-arLHji-bwgLtw-avbxhT-q2gKhJ-aEPLFi-aUJ2S8-atMYKJ-arLR18-bwgN6E-avQk4U-avMqyT-ax3mzR-aoG51t-aoG97a-aoK8mT-aoJwNL-aoGd4z-aoJrt3-aoGbrg-aoKkhD-avMCKB-avMQmr-avMv9z-avQrnG-avMBmR-avjTXy-ax3npx-aA4toZ”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#after-60-days-however-new-york-city-officials-cleared-the-park–taking-much-of-the-wind-from-occupys-sails–32″
title=”After 60 days, however, New York City officials cleared the park — taking much of the wind from Occupy’s sails …”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa1dd08952f3a8b471f/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by David Shankbone/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/6349002704/in/photolist-aF3iiS-awMtZ5-avxrGB-avjVUh-au5M2g-aEZAgM-atLSvN-avjS5Z-avQvkE-avVreW-avAfVt-awJKMX-bwgU4q-atxVL9-ayMEv1-dbHwwo-bSsg4c-avjTUd-aCVTtj-arPu89-ayMEyS-ayJZKp-ayJZBc-aA6Z7m-atLYFq-aBpWBq-aETwms-aRvTGx-aETxX1-atJh98-awrJW9-bSsa9T-aFnGzL-aFiTgc-aFnGuJ-aFiTe4-aEYq5x-aBnq56-az9vCw-aEPFPM-auPxum-atFkWb-8XTTDF-avhgz6-az9zUo-aEZ8oM-bDnAh4-bqsFwN-bDny98-bDnyiV”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#even-if-the-message-itself-continues-to-live-on-33″
title=”…even if the message itself continues to live on.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55f96fa1dd08952f3a8b4720/image.jpg”
source=”Photo by Esther Lee/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6225591324/in/photolist-au8Mps-bthohh-avB9vS-aopK3s-aF4sBm-ao7f2P-ao7b9n-aoa7NU-ao6Uti-apNXWA-apPczh-ar28gu-aFYuYB-aFZbSP-4r53j8-4dLzAt-ao7dqp-aoa6uJ-apP5QQ-ao9J17-aoa4rb-avB7fs-avBa8U-apLmD4-asEode-arNMe4-ao6Y8t-aBniLc-arRTG9-arNW4a-asqjJA-apNRPW-arRPP3-ao6QWc-apL8ut-aBn1ht-arNXFr-aFYvzH-aFYvok-aFYvqH-aFYvdH-aFYv4V-arRL2Y-arRJwE-ao9Lvm-aFYvE6-aFYvm4-arRhwY-atZEBp-aomrQB”
]
[/slideshow]