Challenges and Opportunities of the Informal City, the case of Bogotá

Latin America Colloquium (hybrid) with Jaime Hernández-García, Colombia

Moderation: Eva Schwab, Technische Universität Graz

Latin American cities have developed largely through informal or popular urbanization, to the extent that configure a paradigmatic feature of the urban in the region (Conolly 2013). Informal settlements are usually identified in literature by what they lack: i) economic capital; ii) urban resources (e.g. food markets); iii) infrastructure; iv) ‘proper’ housing; and v) social services (UNCHS 2003). They typically include high levels of poverty, marginalization and exclusion from social, economic environmental and urban opportunities. However, they also possess positive characteristics especially in terms of solidarity, social organization and self-development (Hernández-García 2016); regularly being able to accommodate most of their housing and urban needs as the governments have been unable to provide. With the case of Bogotá, this colloquia navigates the tensions but also the opportunies of this socio-spatial practice, critically reflecting on the injustices and challenges of this form of city-making in Latin America.

Jaime Hernández-García is Full Professor at the Department of Aesthetics, in the School of Architecture and Design at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia. He is Senior Researcher at the Colombian Ministry of Science. He studied architecture at Los Andes University in Bogotá, his Masters at York University, and his PhD was awarded by the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, in United Kingdom. He completed a Post-doctorate in Conflict and Cities at the University of Missouri Kansas City, with a Fulbright Scholarship. His research interests include informal settlements, public space, nature based solutions and community participation. He has published widely in English and Spanish, articles, chapters and books; among his recent books: “Urban Space: Experiences and Reflections from the Global South”, published by Javeriana University; “Ecología de los Paisajes Artificiales”, published also by Javeriana University; “Public Space in Informal Settlements, the Barrios of Bogotá”, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing; and “Researching the Contemporary City: Identity, Environment and Social Inclusion in Developing Urban Areas”, published by Javeriana University.

Eva Schwab is deputy head at the institute of urbanism, TU Graz. Trained as a landscape architect, her research interests include the politics of public space production, management and use, sustainable urban development and mobility as well as urban peripheries. Her dissertation about the public space based upgrading of informal settlements in Medellín won the Landscape Research Group’s Dissertation Prize in 2016 as well as the City of Vienna Talent Award. Her book  „SPATIAL JUSTICE AND INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS Integral Urban Projects in the Comunas of Medellín“ was published in 2018 by Emerald. Recent publications include „Territorial Justice“ (Jovis, 2019) and „Basics of Urbanism“ (Park Book, 2021).

Format: hybrid – audience can attend in person or online
Location: University of Vienna, NIG, Conference Room IPW (A 0222) / 2nd floor, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
ONLINE via Zoom:
Meeting-ID: 683 4134 3181
Kenncode: 214854

Kategorie: Lateinamerika-Kolloquium
Datum: 24. April 2023, 15:15–16:45
Ort: Universität Wien