Urban Resilience and Informality: Effects of Formalisation in Golestan, Iran
In times of rapid changes and transformations which new paradigms and challenges are arising fast, it is felt more than ever that we require more adaptive viewpoints in urban decision making and planning. The importance of resilience thinking framework is ever increasingly felt in various aspects of built environment and human settlements whether formal or informal.
Informal settlements are an important part of urbanity due to rapid urbanization, lack of access to affordable housing, disasters, civil wars and climate change. Socio-political events as well the modernization processes have increased the people’s tendency to live in these areas due to the need for affordable shelter and job opportunities for survival. These areas are very vulnerable to disasters due to their usually exposed situations. Informality as a way of life, is strongly present in informal settlements but it does not mean it is not present in all other aspects of urban areas. Informality is not a problem anymore rather a dominant type of urbanity which needs to be studied, analysed and learned from. It helps demonstrating features compatible with resilience attributes in some aspects.
This article is an inquiry into the effects of formalization of informal settlements within a resilience thinking framework. Formalization in this research includes the urban codes for regularization. Resilience is a solution for dealing with uncertainty and adaptation in complex developments. Practices such as urban planning and design codes transform the urban form. This research traces the transformations imposed by urban planning regulations for upgrading three neighbourhoods with different levels of formalization in Golestan, Tehran, Iran. It compares and studies the effects of urban upgrading processes on adaptation capacities through an urban design lens.
KeywordsResilience Regulations Formalization Informality Adaptation
This article is extracted from a PhD dissertation for attaining the doctor of philosophy degree in the University of Melbourne supervised by professor Kim Dovey and supported by APA scholarship by the Australian government.
This paper was presented in RESURBE III Mexico international conference on Urban & Regional resilience conference and has won the RESURBE prize as Best Practice award in year 2016.
I want to express my deep gratitude to the honorable reviewers in the different stages of this article’s acceptance from RESURBE conference, to UNESCO chair for sustainability and the award for resilience 2016 and springer publications for their valuable comments and insights.
- Adger, W. N. (2003). Building resilience to promote sustainability. IHDP Update 2: 1–3.Google Scholar
- Alliance, R. (2007). Assessing resilience in social-ecological systems. A workbook for scientists. Version 1.1. Draft for testing and evaluation, Resilience Alliance.Google Scholar
- AlSayyad, N. (2004). Urban informality as a ‘New’ way of life transnational perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. In A. Roy & N. AlSayyad (Eds.), Urban informality (pp. 7–30). New York: Lexington.Google Scholar
- Bayat, A. (1997). Street politics: Poor people’s movements in Iran. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Deleuze, G., & Guattari, P. F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Fainstein, S. (2013). Resilience and justice. MSSI Research Paper Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. No. 2.Google Scholar
- Gunderson, L., & Holling, C. S. (2002). In L. H. Gunderson & C. S. Holling (Eds.), Panarchy: Understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
- Hartzog, P. B. (2005). Panarchy: Governance in the network age. Internet paper found at http://www.panarchy.com/Members/PaulbHartzog/Papers:2.
- Hillier, J. (2007). Stretching beyond the horizon: A multiplanar theory of spatial planning and governance. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.Google Scholar
- Lefebvre, H. (1992). The production of space. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Longstaff, P. H., et al. (2010). Building resilient communities a preliminary framework for assessment. Homeland Security Affairs, 6(3).Google Scholar
- Neuwirth, R. (2006). Shadow cities: A billion squatters, an urban new world. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Paton, D., & Johnston, D. (2006). Disaster resilience: An integrated approach. Springfield: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
- Revell, K. (2010). Working with informality: Increasing resilience in cities of the Global South. 46th ISOCARP Congress.Google Scholar
- Roy, A., & AlSayyad, N. (2004). Urban informality: Transnational perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. In A. Roy & N. Nezar AlSayyad (Eds.), Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California. Berkeley: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- Sennett, R. (2006). The open city (pp. 1–5). Berlin: Urban Age.Google Scholar
- UN-Habitat. (2009). Planning sustainable cities—Global report on human settlements 2009. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Vale, L. J., & Campanella, T. J. (2005). The resilient city: How modern cities recover from disasters. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Walker, B. H., & Salt, D. (2006). In B. Walker, D. Salt, & W. V. Reid (Eds.), Resilience thinking: Sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar