Learning place attachment from the informal city

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Place attachment, as a way of reading the affective bonds between dwellings and their inhabitants, helps us understand the complexities in the informal city. Participation and self-help are key to strengthen place attachment and identity, both important to guarantee sustainable care on any given urban environment. When there is a lack of place attachment, disinterest ensues, frequently followed by neglect and even vandalism. Documenting experiences of self-construction, we identified four assets linked to place attachment: additional house value, personalisation though design and ornament, social organisation and self-regulation mechanisms, and statement of identity through visible signs.
Despite the difficulties regarding displacement, economic poverty and uprooting in the builders and occupants of informal dwellings, the process of self-construction and the social mechanisms involved, allow the establishment of affective bonds that help the reconstruction of people’s identities in their new dwelling.
Informal building mechanisms seem to be the natural, spontaneous way of dwelling when there is a lack of guidelines or regulations. The consideration of these processes in the formal city could allow a better understanding of housing in order to truly host people’s lives and affects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformality through Sustainability: Urban Informality Now
EditorsAntonino Di Raimo, Steffen Lehmann, Alessandro Melis
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter24
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9780367354770
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2020

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