This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.

Quick links: General Schedule | Detailed View of ScheduleRegister Online | Hotel Reservations | Conference Policies Deadlines | FAQs | Moderator Contact Information

Session description & abstracts: To view abstracts/description for a session, click on the session title below.  Then click on the View Abstracts button.

Schedule help: Mobile App | TutorialEdit Your Profile/Sign-Up | Personalize Your Schedule | Mobile, Print, & iCal Info | Timezone Settings

Back To Schedule
Friday, March 18 • 9:50am - 10:30am
PS19.0 Informal Settlements in the Contested City: A Case Study of Aleppo During the Syrian Civil War

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Against the backdrop of an increasingly urban, highly fluid civil war, the Syrian city of Aleppo stands as a highly contested space. Reflecting nation-wide trends in urbanisation, Aleppo experienced rapid rates of rural-urban migration in the 10 years preceding the current conflict. Many new migrants found themselves located in informal settlements, where the urban poor bear the brunt of over-stretched infrastructure. While literature has argued that informal settlements provide a breeding ground for conflict, little analysis has been produced that examines the role of Aleppo's informal settlements in the current conflict. This paper seeks to fill the existing gap in knowledge through an analysis of the informal settlements of Aleppo in the context of the Syrian Civil War, ultimately highlighting the interwoven relationship between the nature of the 'informal' and 'formal'. Key to the analysis presented here is open-­source data on the damage that has occurred in Aleppo, which has been distilled and mapped against the existing land use types of Aleppo. The maps produced highlight the disproportionate damage that has occurred in the city's informal settlements and point to an indelible need for a more nuanced understanding of these urban areas. Furthermore, this paper argues against dichotomised stigmatisations of informal settlements as 'feral cities' that are 'void of any social structures' (Norton, 2003 p. 98), instead positing that current understandings should be extended to capture the immense heterogeneity and strengths present in these urban areas. Finally, it is argued that embedded in the folds of formality and informality are multifarious civil society networks that should be supported by the international community.

avatar for Felicity Cain

Felicity Cain

University of Sydney

Friday March 18, 2016 9:50am - 10:30am PDT
Indigo West Foyer