I am really glad that this has come up in all this discussion of how to "fix slums". I think this sort of research is foundational for all other interventions. There are many good characteristics of informal urban communities that, given our lack of understanding, we are unable to recreate while many of the explicit problems are, in fact, quite solvable given sufficient investment and interest. We know how to lay a water pipe but try to plan human scale, dense, and livable space from scratch and we are stumped. Any how, this is a topic in which I am definitely interested and have thought quite about about. My wife and I worked on a project developing an approach to rebuilding post Katrina New Orleans using informal development principals an emergent communities based ownership and zoning strategies and there is much to consider on this topic. I look forward following this project and hope the powers that be see how key this is. Let me know if there is anything I can help with.