Culture and Informality in the City Studio
‘A Culture of Informality for City Leadership’ studio on 11th May brought together experts from various universities – UCL, Oxford, SOAS, LSE, University of Sheffield, Goldsmiths, University of Brighton, Colegio de Mexico – at City University to foster a critical debate about the encounter of informality with urban governance from a multidisciplinary perspective, questioning how informality challenges city leadership and how city leaders can approach the informal city. Cecilia Dinardi (City University) and Michele Acuto (UCL – Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy) organised and chaired the event. The studio opened with a presentation by Prof Néstor García Canclini (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City) and closed with commentaries from Prof Andy Pratt (City University). It featured case-study presentations on four main sessions, addressing informality through the dimensions of: grassroots culture and the arts, the transformation of the urban landscape, economy and labour, and citizenship and social inclusion. Staff at the Department of Culture & Creative Industries, Dr Jenny Mbaye, Dr Janet Merkel and PhD student Ulrike Chouguley, also delivered presentations at the studio.