Hi Willy and thanks for your response! It’s always nice to find people with similar interests!
A lot of my and Frej’s work centres around using already existing forces and processes (instead of combating them) to improve living conditions, equality and resilience in informal settlements. A first step is to acknowledge informal practices (businesses; settlements; networks; communities; etc.), a second to improve the “infrastructure for mutually profitable interactions” between the formal and informal.
We are, at the moment, mainly focusing on the contact zone (or interaction) between formal and informal practices. We strongly argue that formal and informal must be understood as one complex system, not as two separate.
The work you did in New Orleans sounds really, really interesting! Both me and Frej have been there after Katrina to study resilience, planning and rebuilding (me in 2007, Frej in 2008 I think).
Frej has worked quite a lot with finding (and defining) key concepts for understanding and working WITH the power and growth of informal settlements (I’ll leave it to him to write more about it if he wants to). It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject and how “drivers” of informal growth can inform zoning and planning! Are there any papers or presentations of your work in New Orleans (or of similar work) that you could recommend?
I also saw your Openideo project on “Distributed Distribution”. Me and Frej have earlier been talking about how to use processes in informal settlements for distribution (in simple terms, “if power and water supply will be ‘hacked’, design them to be optimally hacked”). Distributed ownership models for energy distribution are interesting. If you have any further information (for energy distribution laymen), that too would be of great interest!