Informality, Urban Space and Infrastructure

Panel discussion hosted by African Centre for Cities and LSE Cities

This panel examined the nexus between informality and the production, consumption and the workings of infrastructure. The objective of this panel was twofold: to explore how governmental definitions of what informality consists of as well as government’s labelling of certain sectors and activities as “informal” end up having physical (and potentially technological) effects and impacts on the city; to document the production, consumption and the workings of infrastructure from the perspective of providers and actors in the “informal economy”.

Victoria Okoye (Chair and discussant), WIEGO Urban Policies Specialist and PhD researcher at University of Sheffield

Thinking through heterogeneous infrastructure configurations
Jonathan Silver, Leverhulme ECR Fellow, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Urban informality and “evictability”: The Demolition of the Malian Market in Dakar
Gunvor Jónsson, Departmental Lecturer in Migration and Development, Department of International Development, University of Oxford

Slum Upgrading in Lagos: Retrospective Assessment of World Bank Projects
Taibat Lawanson, Associate Professor of Urban Planning – Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Development through dislocation: scale, aesthetics and the politics of informality in Addis Ababa’s construction boom
Marco Di Nunzio, Postdoctoral Research Officer, LSE Cities

Profiles

  • Marco Di Nunzio

    Marco Di Nunzio

    Marco Di Nunzio is an anthropologist and urban ethnographer, currently a Research Officer with the Urban Age programme at LSE Cities. His research interests focus on urban development, marginality, the informal economy and the construction industry. His doctoral work explored the life trajectories of men with past and present involvements in Addis Ababa’s street economy, documenting how people’s moral and existential quests for better lives can help in imagining alternative urban futures. His more recent work examined construction workers’ experiences of exclusion and notions of professional responsibility in architecture. He holds a DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford and has previously held research and teaching positions at the universities of Brussels, Oxford, Sussex and Addis Ababa.

  • Gunvor Jónsson

    Gunvor Jónsson is Departmental Lecturer in Migration and Development, Department of International Development, University of Oxford.

  • Taibat Lawanson

    Taibat Lawanson is Associate Professor of Urban Planning – Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos, Nigeria

  • Jonathan Silver

    Jonathan Silver

    Jonathan is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Urban Institute in the University of Sheffield. Where he is undertaking a project on ‘Postcolonial urbanisms and a comparative theory of infrastructure’. He holds a PhD from Durham University and an MA from the University of Manchester. As an urban geographer, his research agenda is concentrated on developing new ideas and vocabularies specialising in the politics of urban infrastructure with a specific focus on Ghana, Uganda and South Africa.

  • Victoria Okoye

    Victoria Okoye is WIEGO Urban Policies Specialist and PhD researcher at University of Sheffield.