Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 91 items for :

  • Urbanisation and Development/Southern Urban Studies x
Clear All

Chapter 9 returns to the book’s four overarching arguments and summarizes how each of them have been addressed in previous chapters. It also offers a synthesis on different responses to living and working informally. The chapter recognizes that a multiplicity of top-down, bottom-up and co-productive responses to urban informality co-exist, with varying results. It then lays out a series of considerations that are considered essential for the development of more progressive urban informality responses. The chapter finishes by introducing future directions for urban informality research and practice, with emphasis put on the climate emergency, the permacrisis, and artificial intelligence-related technological innovations.

Restricted access

Chapter 8 focuses on emerging trends and alternative understandings of and responses to informality. It examines recent debates which revive concerns to get beyond binaries and challenge dichotomous thinking. In particular, it engages with ideas that seek to go beyond the concept of informality, such as popular urbanization, collective life and solidarity economies. The chapter also looks at alternative responses to urban informality, reflecting in particular on the New Urban Agenda as representative of contemporary top-down approaches that embrace informality, and emerging citizen-led approaches that emphasize South–North learning and the potential of urban reform coalitions. The chapter subsequently reflects on the value of including cultural responses towards informality, particularly through fiction, as different ways of representing it. It finishes by introducing emerging avenues for researching informality and offers ideas for students on how to develop research in this area, briefly discussing ethical principles of conducting research on informality as well as innovative methodologies, from knowledge co-production and participatory approaches to digital research methods.

Restricted access

Chapter 5 explores governing informally, which has received less explicit attention within the urban informality literature than living and working informally, despite being intimately linked to both. The chapter starts with tracing the conceptual roots of governing informally in the political sciences literature. Emphasis is also put on a discussion on why governing informally is prevalent particularly (though not exclusively) in global South contexts affected by (post)colonial development and rapid urbanization. The chapter then explores different articulations of governing informally, and its relations with living and working informally, and broadly distinguishes between informal politics initiated by state and elite actors – with emphasis put on articulations of ‘calculated informality’ and urban clientelist politics – and by ordinary people who live and work informally – with emphasis put on autonomous political organization, ‘quiet encroachment’, collective action and insurgent politics.

Restricted access

Chapter 1 sets the scene through a series of illustrative testimonies on urban informality. It then offers a working definition of the term informality, and provides a series of examples of informality in urban settings in the global South and North. It subsequently introduces the book’s key arguments, namely that: (1) informality affects everyone; (2) an urban informality lens helps making sense of poverty, inequality and exclusion dynamics; (3) there is a need to move beyond North/South binaries and to investigate informality in its spatial, economic and political dimensions; and (4) that there is a need to engage with different academic and non-academic representations on urban informality. The chapter subsequently sets out the framing of the book, which is structured around the categories of living, working and governing informally. It finishes by providing an overview of subsequent chapters.

Restricted access

Chapter 3 explores how places develop and how people live, using the lens of living informally. It looks at the definitions and meanings related to urban informal neighbourhoods, as well as their form, evolution and causal factors. The chapter explores three core elements of land, housing and basic services, focusing on how residents are often the agents in the key processes of land acquisition through invasion or illegal subdivision, incremental and self-help housing construction, and provisional followed by improved service provision. The chapter also looks at how living informally is changing, in terms of elite and middle-class informal housing, the emergence of informal high-rise housing, and manifestations of informality in the global North.

Restricted access

Chapter 6 discusses responses to living informally, exploring different approaches to providing or improving the provision of land, housing and services in contexts characterized by informal provision in these areas. By way of context, the chapter begins by exploring the role of international agencies, focusing on the United Nations and the emergence of the Habitat agenda. Next, it explores state-led responses such as eviction, sites and services, formalization and regularization, showing how these have evolved over time, from eradication to aided self-help and enabling approaches. The chapter then outlines citizen-led responses, drawing on examples of civil society organizations that take a multi-scalar, pro-poor approach which seeks to centre residents’ needs and interests. Finally, the chapter briefly addresses how these approaches might be combined, drawing on recent debates around co-production.

Restricted access

Chapter 7 focuses on responses to working informally. It begins with a discussion on the implications of dualist, legalist, structuralist and voluntarist conceptual approaches for related responses focusing on informal work. Attention is then paid to responses such as eviction and revanchism that treat working informally as a problem. The chapter subsequently discusses a series of top-down, bottom-up and co-productive responses that embrace working informally in efforts to create more just, inclusive and sustainable cities, with emphasis put on the themes of governance and informal worker representation, place-specific planning, financial solutions, legal and social protection, and educational reform.

Restricted access

Chapter 2 introduces relevant theoretical and conceptual currents. It shows how debates on urban informality, and specific articulations of living, working and governing informally, evolved over time. It opens with a brief review of the history of informality debates, exploring its roots in colonial planning practices in the global South as well as in discussions about ‘slums’ in industrial era cities in the global North. It then gives an overview of conceptual (and policy) debates from the mid-20th century, in which informality became a subject of study in its own right, relating to patterns of rapid urbanization in Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Ideas such as self-help housing, marginality and legalization, alongside concerns about ‘slums’ which echo earlier debates, again influenced planning policy and practice in this era. Finally, the chapter explores 21st-century debates and controversies, including around ‘the return of the slum’, informality as global phenomenon, and the influence of postcolonial and Southern urban theory.

Restricted access
An Introduction

This book is the first to provide an introductory overview to the concept of ‘urban informality’, taking an international perspective across the global North and South. It explores theoretical understandings of the term, and looks at how it affects ways of living, such as land use, housing and basic services, working lives and politics.

Using a broad range of material to bring the topic to life, including non-conventional sources – such as fiction, poetry, photography, interviews and other media – the book helps students, practitioners and scholars develop learning and research on this topic. The book also includes interjections from diverse voices of practitioners, community activists and regional experts.

Restricted access

Chapter 4 focuses on working informally, tracing historical shifts from an initial focus towards the informal sector towards more broader understandings around informal employment and the informal economy. It discusses the contribution of the informal economy towards economic growth within cities of the global South, in terms of gross domestic product, employment, income generation and other socio-economic development related factors. Attention is also paid towards contemporary articulations of the informal economy, including the gig economy, platform urbanism and digital labour in both global South and North.

Restricted access