The everyday and the episodic: the spatial and political impacts of urban informality
Informality, understood either as an economic sector or as a form of shelter and service provision, dominates Southern cities, even as disciplinary divides dominate the study of informality and its impacts. The author seeks to move beyond these divides by focusing on the production of urban space under different structural conditions in two Indian cities, Delhi and Ahmedabad. Using a Lefebvrian theoretical framework, the author examines existing literature to unpack the mutually constitutive political and spatial practices of informality. The segregated spaces thus produced can be linked to a politics of informality that includes not just everyday resistance and creeping encroachments to achieve gains, but also episodic moments of open protest, collective mobilization, and violence. In highlighting these impacts, production of space theories also open up the question of generating knowledge for new sites of resistance.
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