Chapter 6: How urban regimes produce and manage informality: insights from three cases of informal housing
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In this chapter, we examine three cases of informal urban housing: Kabul, Kathmandu, and Port Vila, Vanuatu. Each is a national capital suffering from chronic environmental, economic and political stress. We describe the urban politics of housing informality to highlight places where housing scholars should question assumptions and challenge prevalent policy positions. Working from field observations, we argue that urban regimes that govern conditions of housing informality can be any assemblage of agencies which effectively govern urban space. Those agencies often do not recognise that they are part of an urban regime at all, let alone their aggregate role in the control of urban spaces and settlements. The goal of this chapter is to argue for acknowledgement of who really governs cities in the Global South. We hope future scholars and policy-makers will reframe policy discourse around informal housing and settlements so that the disparate agencies who produce and manage this condition will immediately recognise their role as part of an urban regime. Going forward, it is important that diverse actors understand the role they are actually playing in shaping cities, and the responsibilities that go with being part of an urban regime.

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