Our masters course places a strong emphasis on citizen participation and community-led urban planning. Informal laborers often go overlooked yet play a crucial role in the growth of cities around the world. In this series of articles on urban livelihoods focused on inclusive urban planning for the working poor, Caroline Skinner (Urban Policies Programme Director for WIEGO and Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town) talks about the importance of including the informal workforce within urban planning processes.
“Practices that exclude informal workers from participating in cities are the norm in many parts of the world. There are daily reports of slum and street trader evictions, and ongoing lower level harassment of informal workers. It is critical to reverse this exclusionary trend; informal workers are too great in numbers, they have too few livelihood alternatives, and they are too essential to the economy and the fabric of our cities.”
She lays out six principles for inclusive cities. Here they are briefly stated:
1. City-wide the provision of basic services including affordable transport
2. Providing tailor-made facilities and infrastructural needs according to the nature of work
3. Fundamental legal reform informed by the reality of informality
4. Access to support services (e.g., financial) to increase productivity and incomes
5. Finding alternatives to privatization that include informal workers
6. Planning with rather than planning for informal workers
Read the entire article at The Global Urbanist.