Toward an Epistemology of the Form of the Informal City: Mapping the Process of Informal City Making
Informal Settlement Research ISR, 2014
21 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 24, 2014
The current scale of poverty on the planet has overwhelmed the capacity of the formal market to incorporate the masses of impoverished settlers arriving to urban centers all over the world. The informal city now serves as the place for up to one-third of the planet’s urban population. Even with renewed interest in the role of design to improve informal settlements living conditions, the urban design discipline lacks a comprehensive understanding of variations within this urban phenomena and therefore, effective intervention tools. I believe that we must develop new multifaceted methodologies for intervening in informal settlements. This paper seeks to develop such methodologies by analyzing data collected from interviews with residents in informal settlements in the city of Medellin, Colombia, over a period of the last three years. This analysis challenges some misconceptions of urban informality still present in urban design literature in a search to inform more coherent methodologies for the near future.
Keywords: informality, settlements, urban form, development
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