Informal urbanism, previously the domain of political economists and social scientists, has recently seen a revival in interest in both mainstream architecture as well as geography, urban studies and critical literature. Informality, or that which exists outside of formal legal-juridical frameworks, has been viewed in myriad ways since its emergence in the early 1970’s in the published works of Keith Hart. Too many to be summarized here, however it is commonly understood as “a state of exception and ambiguity” or as “a dynamic that releases energies” within the urban landscape – slums, pavement-hawkers, self-organising urban services.
Informality may be also defined as “a mode of production of space defined by the territorial logic of deregulation” a symptom of neoliberal economics or “a survival strategy and, as such…a way of evading or manipulating power” traditionally associated with the urban poor. While these definitions span a wide territory, the latter two demonstrate a linkage between an end state, a contingent spatial situation and power apparatuses that create the conditions for such inevitable appearance in cities.
Via Tomás Sánchez Criado