Urban Informality refers to a dimension of the city that is more spontaneous, temporal and ever changing, and also more marginalised, residual and ordinary, compared to the formal and institutional means of city making. It includes physical places such as slums, squatters, urban villages and bazars, as well as the appropriation of historic places into newer entities. It encompasses sacred festivals, secular migrations, the daily routines of roadside vendors and hawkers, street art, local craft and numerous other micro-economies that formal planning typically evades. Urban Informality is about the uncanny entrepreneurship, resilience and creativity of the ordinary and underprivileged to stake their claim in the city.
This issue offers insightful narratives on how urban informality is shaping various cities across the world. We have articles that discuss the barrios and favelas of Venezuela, the urban villages in China and Yemen, and the appropriation of urban space in Russia. We feature insightful case studies on uplifting slums in Bangladesh and India. We also feature examinations of informal place types such as the historic serais of Agra, and the fish market of Gugugram. This issue will be an invaluable resource to anyone interested in the broader subject of urban informality and all its accompaniments.