Ariel C. Armony, Adib Cure, Carie Penabad

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Informal cities, informal economies, economic development, urban population, poverty, urban growth, informal infrastructure, urban networks, urban space, innovation, informal communities, transportation, architectural design, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Haiti, Peru, Latin America, the Caribbean, urbanización, desarrollo económico, energía, políticas ambientales, economía informal, seguridad ciudadana


This publication, based on the symposium Dialogues with the Informal City: Latin America and the Caribbean, connects a range of fundamental themes affecting the current conditions and future of Latin America’s growing informal cities and, by extension, the rising global urban population. Informal cities can be described as settlements frequently characterized by organic physical patterns built incrementally over time as the needs and circumstances of a community change. While undeniably precarious in construction, informal cities exhibit underlying urban and architectural patterns of remarkable resilience; moreover, they reflect their inhabitants’ enduring cultural values. While seriously affected by poverty and violence, they are often sites of dynamic informal economies that benefit not only the citizens of the community but the greater city in which they are situated. In Latin America, the scale of informal activity is both massive and increasing. The report is organized around four crosscutting themes: space, networks, wellbeing, and innovation. These themes provide a broad framework to discuss both the challenges and often overlooked opportunities associated with these growing communities. Contributors include scholars, practitioners, and activists.

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INFORMAL CITIES-report-l r.pdf (779 kB)
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