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The potential of informality

Lessons of Informality

Architecture and Urban Planning for Emerging Territories. Concepts from Ethiopia

Ed. by Heisel, Felix / Kifle Woldeyessus, Bisrat


    59,95 € / $79.95 / £54.50*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    May 2016
    Copyright year:
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    • Ethiopia is one of Africa’s "economic tigers"
    • Interdisciplinary team of authors from urbanism, sociology and architecture
    • Including a DVD with "_Spaces", a series of documentaries on Addis Ababa

    Aims and Scope

    Informal settlements made up of corrugated iron shacks and other materials are a ubiquitous feature in the megacities of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In response to the enormous influx of migrants from the countryside, the informal city experienced a phenomenal growth. While rightly criticized for their lack of hygiene and for their low-level living conditions, these shelters nevertheless provide planning strategies and possibly even a roadmap to a resilient city in an emerging territory.

    The unregistered economic activities associated with them proliferate in a similar way and basic urban services are increasingly provided informally. Examples of these economic phenomena are microloans, bottom-up insurance or professions such as the "Kuré-Yalew" (refuse collector), who acts as an "urban miner" and thus contributes a valuable service to the community by recycling materials.

    Supplementary Information


    224 pages
    Type of Publication:
    Specialist Text

    MARC record

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    Felix Heisel, ETH Zurich

    Bisrat Kifle, Chair of Architecture & Design, EiABC, Addis Ababa

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