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Introduction

Symposium 2013, November 20-23
Metropolis Nonformal - Anticipation
Launching the UN-Habitat Hub on Informal Urbanism

Location: Sophiensaal, Sophienstr. 6, Munich

Curator: Christian Werthmann
TUM-IAS Hans Fischer Senior Fellow (TUM Institute for Advanced Study),
Professor of Landscape Architecture and Design, Leibniz University Hannover

Hosted by: Regine Keller, TUM in collaboration with UN-Habitat

Supported by:
UN-Habitat – Claudio Acioly Jr., Head Capacity Development Unit, Housing & Urban Management Expert
TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS)
– Director Gerhard Abstreiter
International Center, TUM
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
TUM Graduate School - Graduate Center Architecture
Bayerische Architektenkammer
CAD-Solutions – Graphisoft
Bruns Pflanzen-Export GmbH & Co. KG
Südhausbau KG

Organisation:
Juliane Schneegans, coordinator of the symposium
Sigrid Wagner, event manager/web coordinator of TUM-IAS
Tatjana Steinberger, program manager of TUM-IAS
Asa Isacson, UN Habitat
Christina Milos, Leibniz University Hannover

Informal urbanism is one of the dominant forces driving urban growth in cities in the developing world. During the last half-century a range of interventions were developed to improve the living conditions of existing informal neighborhoods. Less clear, however, are viable strategies for the additional projected two billion ‘slum’ dwellers by 2050. Policy makers mostly focus on the infrastructural deficiencies and illegal status of informal urbanization. In contrast, Metropolis Nonformal – Anticipation operates under the realization that self-construction is in many countries the only viable urbanization model for low-income migrants. Metropolis Nonformal – Anticipation insists that cities must shift from a negative attitude of prevention to a more positive attitude of anticipation and assistance to growing numbers of informal settlers.

The symposium will explore anticipatory strategies that actively integrate the entrepreneurial capacity and intelligence of low-income migrants in the production of future urban growth. Are there alternative land ownership and land allocation models that can provide buildable sites? What is the urban form and framework of managed self-construction? How does one communicate with urban migrants in waiting, in transition or recently arrived? Can self-built holistic and resourceful infrastructures be deployed to foster water management, close food-waste cycles, provide building material, offer transport solutions, mitigate unsafe sites and ultimately generate income and jobs?

Metropolis Nonformal will serve as the launching event of a new ‘Hub on Informal Urbanism’ as part of the Habitat Partner University Initiative (HPUI).

Photos: Julius Peisl