RETHINKING INFORMALITY: Strategies of Urban Space Co-Production

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RETHINKING INFORMALITY: Strategies of Urban Space Co-Production

This work is the product of an international collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture + Planning, the Architecture Department, the School of Planning at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the planning council of Comuna 8. The goal of this project is to envision, plan and design prototypical criteria and design alternatives as relevant proposals for decision makers in the community. The project also aims to make institutions and other stakeholders aware of various alternatives for the growth of informal settlements in the City of Medellin’ Comuna 8 (District 8).

In the 1990s, at same time that the United States was bombing Baghdad, Medellín was the most dangerous city in the world. Since 2003, the city has undergone an internationally renowned urban transformation, part of a controversial nationwide peace process. Implemented under three consecutive mayor administrations (03-07, 08-11, 12-14), the city—now perceived as a totally different place with a homicide rate 10 times lower—is seen as an example of how to engage with conflict and violence thru spatial and urban policies. Today the city’s spatial practices had become the model to intervene in cities were large concentration of informal settlements and conflict intersect.

This workshop wants to look at the challenges of growth management of cities in the global south, its goal is twofold: on one side is an interest in the creation of predictive models of city growth, as tools to inform design and planning decision making process; secondly (and more importantly), the project is interested in generating urban development strategies that use the inherent qualities of the informal development in the cities in the south as a way to direct growth in ways that is sustainable an equitable.

For Spanish version of the book go to: REPENSANDO LA INFORMALIDAD: Estrategias de Co-producción del Espacio Urbano

Jota Samper + Catalina Ortiz + Javier Soto