A Year of Stories and Photos: Introducing ‘The Informal City Reader’

| 09/26/2013 11:18am
Informal City Dialogues

Please click here to open The Informal City Reader.

Over the past year, Next City has chronicled stories from the informal realm as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Informal City Dialogues. Through photography, film and well over a hundred blog posts, those stories became a running narrative of the lives of informal workers and settlers in the six cities that participated in the project. From those cities, we offered a window into the lives of street vendors, slum-dwellers, waste-pickers, even home-based beer brewers.

Now, Next City has released an ebook that compiles the best reporting, research and photojournalism from the Informal City Dialogues in a single online digest. From do-it-yourself disaster recovery plans to private water markets, Twitter-based emergency services and street vendors with MBAs, the interplay between formal and informal systems tells the story of how many of the developing world’s cities are growing. In the ebook, you’ll also find short films that speak to the informal realm’s remarkable resilience, and provocative commentary from some of the most influential names working in the field today, including from Mike Davis, Sheela Patel and Benjamin Barber.

The informal sector is immense. As our blogger from Lima put it in his final post: “The number of informal transactions taking place in Lima at any given second, pushing the economy forward in ways big and small, is virtually incalculable.” This ebook provides a glimpse of those transactions — a realm of activity that grows in importance to cities every day, and will be one of urbanism’s defining issues in the 21st century. We hope you enjoy the book.

Please click here to open The Informal City Reader.