Town Planning Review

Lessons from informal settlements: a ‘peripheral’ problem with self-organising solutions

Town Planning Review (2016), 87, (3), 297–319.

Abstract

This paper investigates how planning institutions and informal settlements are interrelated elements of the urban system, suggesting that this interrelation can be the result of self-organisation and co-evolutionary processes. It examines the Portuguese planning responses to informal settlements, showing that they can trigger the emergence of new institutional structures, which influence plans, planning processes and legal frameworks. This process suggests the importance of experimentation, long-term relations and short chains in planning. Without analysing this process through the lens of self-organisation, it would risk being seen simply as an unrepeatable process that occurred in a turbulent period of Portuguese history.

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References

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BATTY, M. and MARSHALL, S. (2012), ‘The origins of complexity theory in cities and planning’, in J. Portugali, H. Meyer, E. Stolk and E. Tan (eds), Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 21–45. The origins of complexity theory in cities and planning Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design 21 45 Google Scholar

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FERRÃO, L. and LEAL, T. (1984), ‘Clandestinos: uma intervenção em Castelo Branco’, Sociedade e Território, 1, 46–49. Clandestinos: uma intervenção em Castelo Branco Sociedade e Território 1 46 49 Google Scholar

FERREIRA, A. (1984), ‘Crise do alojamento e construção clandestina em Portugal’, Sociedade e Território, 1, 29–37. Crise do alojamento e construção clandestina em Portugal Sociedade e Território 1 29 37 Google Scholar

FONSECA, M. (1990), População e território, do país à área metropolitana, Lisbon, Centro Estudos Geográficos. População e território, do país à área metropolitana Google Scholar

FUCHS, C. (2003), ‘Co-operation and self-organization’, Triple C, 1, 1–52. Co-operation and self-organization Triple C 1 1 52 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N. (2013), ‘Re-connecting people and planning’: parish plans and the English localism agenda’, Town and Planning Review, 3, 371–96. Re-connecting people and planning Town and Planning Review 3 371 96 Google Scholar

GHARAJEDAGHI, J. (2006), Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity. A Platform for Designing Business Architecture, London, Elsevier. Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity. A Platform for Designing Business Architecture Google Scholar

GONÇALVES, J. and FERREIRA, J. (2015), ‘The planning of strategy: a contribution to the improvement of spatial planning’, Land Use Policy, 45, 86–94. The planning of strategy: a contribution to the improvement of spatial planning Land Use Policy 45 86 94 Google Scholar

HEYLIGHEN, F. (2010), ‘Self-organization of complex, intelligent systems: an action ontology for transdisciplinary integration’, Integral Review, http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/ECCO-paradigm.pdf (accessed 10 January 2014). Google Scholar

HEYLIGHEN, F. (2013), ‘Self-organization in communicating groups: the emergence of coordination, shared references and collective intelligence’, in À. Massip-Bonet and A. Bastardas-Boada (eds), Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 117–49. Self-organization in communicating groups: the emergence of coordination, shared references and collective intelligence Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society 117 49 Google Scholar

HILLIER, J. (2011), ‘Strategic navigation across multiple planes: towards a Deleuzean-inspired methodology for strategic spatial planning’, Town Planning Review, 82, 503–27. Strategic navigation across multiple planes: towards a Deleuzean-inspired methodology for strategic spatial planning Town Planning Review 82 503 27 Google Scholar

HOLLING, C. S., GUNDERSON, L. and PETERSON, G. (2002), ‘Sustainability and panarchies’, in L. Gunderson and C. Holling (eds), Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems, London, Island Press, 25–62. Sustainability and panarchies Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems 25 62 Google Scholar

INDOVINA, F. (1990), ‘La città diffusa’, in F. Indovina, F. Matassoni, M. Savino, M. Sernini, M. Torres and L. Vettoretto, La città diffusa, Venice, Istituto universitario di architettura di Venezia, Dipartimento di analisi economica e sociale del territorio, 19–43. La città diffusa 19 43 Google Scholar

INNES, J. and BOOHER, D. (2015), ‘A turning point for planning theory? Overcoming dividing discourses’, Planning Theory, 14, 195–213. A turning point for planning theory? Overcoming dividing discourses Planning Theory 14 195 213 Google Scholar

INNES, J., BOOHER, D. and DI VITTORIO, S. (2010), ‘Strategies for megaregion governance’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 77, 55–67, doi: 10.1080/01944363.2011.533640 (accessed 10 January 2014). Strategies for megaregion governance Journal of the American Planning Association 77 55 67 Google Scholar

INNES, J. and RONGERUDE, J. (2013), ‘Civic networks for sustainable regions: innovative practices and emergent theory’, Planning Theory and Practice, 14, 75–100. Civic networks for sustainable regions: innovative practices and emergent theory Planning Theory and Practice 14 75 100 Google Scholar

ISSERMAN, A. (1985), ‘Dare to plan: an essay on the role of the future in planning practice and education’, Town Planning Review, 56, 483–91. Dare to plan: an essay on the role of the future in planning practice and education Town Planning Review 56 483 91 Google Scholar

KAUFFMAN, S. (1991), ‘Antichaos and adaptation’, Scientific American, 265, 78–84. Antichaos and adaptation Scientific American 265 78 84 Google Scholar

KLOSTERMAN, R. (2013), ‘Lessons learned about planning’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 79, 161–69, doi: 10.1080/01944363.2013.882647 (accessed 10 January 2014). Lessons learned about planning Journal of the American Planning Association 79 161 69 Google Scholar

LEVIN, S. (1998), ‘Ecosystems and the biosphere as complex adaptive systems’, Ecosystems, 1, 431–36. Ecosystems and the biosphere as complex adaptive systems Ecosystems 1 431 36 Google Scholar

LONG, J., CUNNINGHAM, F. and BRAITHWAITE, J., (2013), ‘Bridges, brokers and boundary spanners in collaborative networks: a systematic review’, BMC Health Services Research, 158, doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-158 (accessed 10 January 2014). Bridges, brokers and boundary spanners in collaborative networks: a systematic review BMC Health Services Research 158 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, S. (2009), Cities, Design and Evolution, New York, Routledge. Cities, Design and Evolution Google Scholar

MARSHALL, S. (2012), ‘Planning, design and the complexity of cities’, in J. Portugali, H. Meyer, E. Stolk and E. Tan (eds), Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 191–205. Planning, design and the complexity of cities Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design 191 205 Google Scholar

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (1997), Glossary of Environment Statistics, Studies in Methods, Series F, 67, New York, United Nations. Google Scholar

OLIVA, F. (2002), L’urbanistica di Milano. Quel che resta dei piani urbanistici nella crescita e nella trasformazione della città. Con sei itinerari, Milan, Hoepli. L’urbanistica di Milano. Quel che resta dei piani urbanistici nella crescita e nella trasformazione della città. Con sei itinerari Google Scholar

OLSTROM, E. (2005), Understanding Institutional Diversity, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Understanding Institutional Diversity Google Scholar

PORTAS, N. (1988), ‘Sobre alguns problemas da descentralização’, Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, 25/26, 61–78. Sobre alguns problemas da descentralização Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais 25/26 61 78 Google Scholar

PRIGOGINE, I. and STENGERS, I. (1984), Order Out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue with Nature, New York, Bantam Books. Order Out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue with Nature Google Scholar

RAMMEL, C., STAGL, S. and WILFING, H. (2007), ‘Managing complex adaptive systems: a co-evolutionary perspective on natural resource management’, Ecological Economics, 63, 9–21. Managing complex adaptive systems: a co-evolutionary perspective on natural resource management Ecological Economics 63 9 21 Google Scholar

RODRIGUES, C. (1984), ‘Imperfeições ou dualismo no mercado de habitação? Urbanização clandestina e reprodução da força de trabalho em Portugal’, Sociedade e Território, 1, 38–45. Imperfeições ou dualismo no mercado de habitação? Urbanização clandestina e reprodução da força de trabalho em Portugal Sociedade e Território 1 38 45 Google Scholar

ROY, A. (2011), ‘Slumdog cities: rethinking subaltern urbanism’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35, 223–38. Slumdog cities: rethinking subaltern urbanism International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35 223 38 Google Scholar

SALGUEIRO, T. (1977), ‘Bairros clandestinos na periferia de Lisboa’, Finisterra, 23, 28–55. Bairros clandestinos na periferia de Lisboa Finisterra 23 28 55 Google Scholar

SALGUEIRO, T. (1992), A cidade em Portugal: uma geografia urbana, Porto, Afrontamento. A cidade em Portugal: uma geografia urbana Google Scholar

SHKLIAREVSKY, G. (2015), ‘Rethinking democracy: a systems perspective on the global unrest’, Systems Research and Behavioural Science, doi: 10.1002/sres.2331 (accessed 11 November 2015). Rethinking democracy: a systems perspective on the global unrest Systems Research and Behavioural Science Google Scholar

SILVA, P. and FARRALL, H. (2014), ‘From informal to formal: what can be learned from reviewing fifty years of Portuguese models, policies and politics’ (paper delivered to the 6th International Conference Towards a Regional Agenda for HABITAT III: Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, Cairo, 25–27 November), in 6th International Conference Towards a Regional Agenda for HABITAT III: Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, Cairo, 330–46. From informal to formal: what can be learned from reviewing fifty years of Portuguese models, policies and politics 330 46 Google Scholar

SMITH, C. and GEMMIL, G. (1991), ‘Change in the small group: a dissipative structure perspective’. Human Relations, 44, 697–716. Change in the small group: a dissipative structure perspective Human Relations 44 697 716 Google Scholar

SMITH, T. S. and STEVENS, G. T. (1996), ‘Emergence, self-organization, and social interaction: arousal-dependent structure in social systems’, Sociological Theory, 14, 131–53. Emergence, self-organization, and social interaction: arousal-dependent structure in social systems Sociological Theory 14 131 53 Google Scholar

SOARES, L. (1984), ‘Urbanização clandestina e política urbana’, Sociedade e Território, 1, 19–34. Urbanização clandestina e política urbana Sociedade e Território 1 19 34 Google Scholar

TRANBERG HANSEN, K. and VAA, M. (eds) (2004), Reconsidering informality: perspectives from urban Africa, Uppsala, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. Reconsidering informality: perspectives from urban Africa Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. and ALLMENDIGER, P. (1998), ‘Deconstructing communicative rationality: a critique of habermasian collaborative planning’, Environment and Planning A, 30, 1979–89. Deconstructing communicative rationality: a critique of habermasian collaborative planning Environment and Planning A 30 1979 89 Google Scholar

UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) (2009), Self-Made Cities: In Search of Sustainable Solutions for Informal Settlements in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Region, New York and Geneva, United Nations. Google Scholar

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Silva, Paulo

Farrall, Helena