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Informal Cities

Informal Cities Bibliozone

“In the energetic cities of the future, your most important business partners will be squatters, hawkers, smugglers and pirates. Get used to it."

Robert Neuwirth - Journalist, author, and investigative reporter



In February, Foresight For Development turns the spotlight on informal city futures .

Featured in Bibliozone this month is a collection of publications related to the future of informal cities. The selection of documents is partial and based on accessible material. Therefore, we would like to invite everyone to supplement our library with additional materials.


From our FFD library:

Here are the publications available in our library:


“The shanty city is by and large the real African city."

Prof Edgar Pieterse - South African Research Chair in Urban Policy & Director of African Center for Cities


South African Informal City Exhibition and Book

The initiative is a survey of South Africa’s most relevant and innovative design and research projects, featuring explorations and interventions in the informal sector from across the country. The aim is to open up dialogue and discussion around the critical issues of informality and urban development. As such, the month-long exhibition was accompanied by a one-day seminar exploring the opportunities and challenges around informality.

The exhibition explores South Africa’s own conditions of informality by providing a showcase for the work being done locally to address these important issues; and it also provides a platform for comparison and an opportunity for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

The Informal City Dialogues project

The Informal City Dialogues is a year-long project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and conducted by Forum for the Future. It homes in on six cities: Accra, Bangkok, Chennai, Lima, Manila and Nairobi. In each of these cities, it aims to foster a conversation about the informal urban realm, and how it can be cultivated and harnessed for the benefit of all.

  • The Informal City Reader
  • Features
    Read long-form dispatches from each of the six cities involved in the Informal City Dialogues.
  • Workshops
    Through a series of workshops, participants in the Informal City Dialogues are envisioning how to make their cities more resilient and inclusive. Learn how the process works and what innovations they're developing.
  • Pictures and Videos
    Explore the Informal City Dialogues visually, as their bloggers capture the informal city in photographs. And watch the stories unfold in our online documentary series, created with the award-winning filmmakers at Still Life Projects.

Squattercity blog & book

Other “Informal City” futures resources


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