Urban Informality

Law plays a critical role in the making of the urban. On the one hand, legislation is a critical arena where various power dynamics intersect and determine the future of the urban, and who gets to have a voice in its making. On the other, the increasing gray-spacing of cities and regions around the world, the criminalization of large population groups who are said not to belong, and the exclusion of large urban tracts, make it imperative to understand the production of the urban at the margin of the law. This track seeks to explore the historical and contemporary evolution of the regulatory frameworks organizing Lebanon’s urban transformations within the social, political and economic contexts in which they were articulated. Going beyond the law, the track extends its study to the norms, informal rules and exceptional measures that have historically played a powerful role in structuring the production and/or access to the city both for vulnerable (e.g. refugees, rural migrants) and well-off (e.g. rich investors) city dwellers.