2016’s Symposium Programme


This year’s symposium will be divided into four sessions, including three presentation sessions and a debate forum to end the day. There will also be a book launching as the result of 2014’s Confronting Informality Symposium. Brief description of each sessions is as followings.

Session 1: Exclusion in Urbanism
This model of governance tends to exclude inhabitants from planning processes, informality takes place. There is an urgency in changing the structures of the cities, but there is no support (either economic or social) from the local government. In this case, communities start taking lead in participatory processes, starting by bottom-up actions and reactions against certain type of urban living.

Session 2: Governance in Transition
In transition processes, the local governments don’t have the financial resources to confront informality, but take actions by involving NGOs and interdisciplinary groups, which are the ones working on strategies and ways to include society into the planning process, with the aim to provide them maximum coverage of basic services.

Session 3: Inclusive Urbanism in Practice
At this stage, the governance model is socially inclusive, and involves community into a series of participatory processes of planning and development.  The government takes a side on helping inhabitants by asking them what they need, want, and what they can do, in order to improve the current situation. The strategies start dialogue with the local inhabitants, take actions on what they need and want, and includes them as an essential part of the process of design for the expected future.

Session 4: Debate Forum
Our general objective is to understand,discuss and contribute to the discourse of informality.Through this debate forum, we would like to raise awareness about the processes of informality in different parts of the world, its causes and consequences and how they are addressed through a spatial perspective. The debate will provide a platform for ideas exchange, networking, and further reflection on the theme of informality.

We are publishing our speaker’s profile gradually. Do not miss it, hit the yellow button below!



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The Confronting Informality Symposium is a student led event sponsored by the Chair of Spatial Planning & Strategy at the TU Delft University of Technology. The 2016 Symposium will approach informal urbanisation with social disarticulation and segregation as main perspectives.

We invite you to submit your work for a poster exhibition to be held on the next edition of the Symposium. We believe that even the smallest idea matters and will enrich the debate on the topic.

Submission’s deadline: March 4th, 2016, 17:00 CET
The exhibition will be held on March 14th – 18th, 2016 at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands.


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Confronting Informality Symposium 2016


The 2016’s symposium entitled “Informal Urbanisation: Understanding and Mitigating a Global Phenomenon” will approach the subject of urban informality from two main cores: post-calamity environments and modernization and migration processes, with social dis-articulation and segregation as main perspectives.

What is the Confronting Informality Symposium?
The Confronting Informality Symposium is a student led event sponsored by the Chair of Spatial Planning & Strategy at the TU Delft University of Technology. The symposium, in its third edition in 2016, is a result of the faculty’s and its students’ awareness of the impacts of informal urbanization in issues of social, economic and environmental sustainability of cities today. We recognize the importance of understanding its drivers and its relationships with other issues such as poverty, gender discrimination, social segregation and economic inequality.

According to the United Nations 1.5 billion people are in informal or precarious employment (UNDP, 2014) and fifty-five million slum units have been created worldwide since the year of 2000 (UN-Habitat, 2015).

The goal of the Confronting Informality Symposium 2016 is to shed light on informal urbanization, to understand its origins, drivers and impacts. Our aim is to establish a platform to debate informality and its correlations to spatial planning and urban design as well as to comprehend its impacts and liabilities on political, economic and social issues. The symposium will highlight the complexity of informal urbanization, addressing its causes, consequences and adopted mitigation actions.

Speakers from diverse backgrounds will share their understandings on the theme as well as their experiences in tackling the informality matter with diverse perspectives.

Symposium Programme
The symposium will be a one-day event consisting of several presentations and debate sessions with the following details:

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
09:00 – 17:00
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft, the Netherlands

Along with the symposium, there will also be a poster and photo exhibition on the same theme to be held from Thursday, March 17th, 2016 until Friday, March 25th, 2016. The posters will be exhibited at the Berlagezaal during the symposium and in the Orange Hall of the Faculty of Architecture afterwards.

Planning to join our symposium as a participant? Register yourself here!
Are you interested in submitting a poster? Please follow this link.

This event is free of charge.

Alexander Jachnow


As member of the discussion panel, we are proud to present dr. Alexander Jachnow. He has worked in informal settlements in Mexico, Brazil and lately in Bangladesh on diverse levels, such as housing improvements, favela upgrading and reconstruction. He leads different projects that focused on dealing with slums and informality in an inclusive way. He believes in encouraging people to work on place- and city-making beyond the widely constructed dichotomy of formal vs. informal.


David Juárez


David is restless inhabitant, architect and co-founder of Straddle3, a multidisciplinary team that work with open source environments. He is also an active member of Arquitecturas Colectivas network. Next to their current projects including a private house self-built by its owner out of recycled materials, they are also working on free software tools for collaborative architecture and urban transformation.