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Urban morphologies in informal settlements: a case study

Kamalipour, Hesam ORCID: 2016. Urban morphologies in informal settlements: a case study. Contour Journal 1 (2) , 61. 10.6666/contour.v1i2.61

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The emergence of urbanity is related to the ways in which urban informality, morphologies, activities, and temporality work in relation to sociality and spatiality. Informal settlements are predominantly self-organized and incrementally transformed out of the state control where the traditional approaches to urban theory and design practices have often failed to deal with the complex dynamism of such resilient forms of urbanism. The study aims to explore urban morphologies of informal settlements to unravel the capacities of these settlements as places of self-organization in which complex relations between sociality and spatiality contribute to the emergence of urbanity. Hence, the study focuses on the ways in which informal urbanism mediates urbanity. This conception is neither an attempt to aestheticize the concentration of poverty in informal settlements nor an attempt to undermine the role of the built environment professions in enabling or constraining the possibility of emergent urbanity in the city. On the contrary, the outcomes of the study give rise to the critical role of urban designers, architects, and planners in contributing effectively to the upgrading processes in a way to encourage the affordances for self-organization and incremental transformations over time. Drawing on empirical evidence from the neighbourhood of Khlong Toei in the city of Bangkok, the study seeks to understand the ways in which urban morphologies structure the emergence of urbanity in informal settlements. The research methods are observation, archival records, visual recording, mapping, and multi-scale analysis. In this way, the study contributes to the understanding of how informal settlements work in terms of urban morphologies and the ways in which emergence of street-life intensity can be enabled or constrained by the environmental design professionals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: EPFL
ISSN: 2297-6906
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 March 2021
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 15:42

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