MUP Studio I

Urban informality in global North cities

Studio leaders: Dr Redento B. Recio and Tanzil Shafique

Urban informality has often been linked to conditions, relations and transactions occurring in global South countries. Recent literature, however, has revealed a rise in informal economic activities in global North cities due to an insecure economic condition and an increased middle-class desire for more vibrant lifestyles and diverse forms of public space. Several academics have also pointed out the need for planning discipline to respond to issues arising from urban informal employment in European and North American cities. In Australia, various forms of informality and urban commoning have become part of the management of public space.

Building on the knowledge and skills gained/enhanced in their first year, this studio will enable the students to examine different forms and practices of informality in Melbourne and identify the agents and factors that drive such processes. Fieldwork activities will help them determine how informal practices intersect/cofunction with formal rules and processes. Students are expected to analyze how urban planners/designers/managers ‘define’ and ‘manage’ forms of informality. Toward the end of the semester, the students will put forward proposed interventions that enhance the positive impacts and/or address issues arising from identified forms/practices of informality.

Studio Outcomes

  • Identify and engage critically with urban informality and planning practice;
  • Conduct primary and secondary research guided by a theoretically-informed conceptual framework;
  • Identify and propose creative responses to informality and/with informality;
  • Identify and respond to ethical issues and understand the notion of justice in planning;
  • Understand the relationships between planning, space and politics;
  • Demonstrate a capacity to work efficiently and effectively;
  • Have the ability to design strategies and timelines for completing individual and collective tasks.

Urban Planning 2021_winter