Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Commentary | Open Access

Governance Lessons from Urban Informality

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Abstract:  We locate this issue’s papers on a spectrum of radicalism. We then examine that spectrum, and the governance mechanisms described, through the lens of a significant arena of urban counter-planning: the urban informal economy. Drawing on our own research on self-organization by informal workers and settlers, as well as broader literatures, we suggest useful lessons for reinventing urban governance.

Keywords:  bottom-up; counter-planning; governance; informal economy; informality; radicalism; social movements; top-down; urban planning



© Hugo Sarmiento, Chris Tilly. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.