In this event we will explore questions relating to the meaning and conceptualisation of urban infrastructures. The question of infrastructure will serve as an entry point for wider reflections on the changing experience of nature, modernity, and urban space.
When thinking about resilient urban economies, what often comes to mind first are perhaps financial centres such as Canary Wharf or science hubs such as Silicon Valley. Especially for city planners and urban policy makers, to sustain a resilient economy is often dependent on developing new knowledge centres or erecting new business districts in the city. However, for many cities in the world and particularly in the Global South, informal settlements are a very salient feature. They provide a home to the cheap labour that keep cities running (migrants and low-skilled workers) and, therefore, form an important aspect of the urban economies, especially in the Global South. However, their impacts on the poor are debatable. Informal settlements are regarded by some as a pathway out of poverty, serving as an important stepping stone towards a better life. For others, however, informal settlements are considered a cancerous part of cities that not only brings higher crime but also traps its residents in eternal deprivation.