This week we are thrilled to welcome to Addis Ababa our colleagues from resilience offices and municipal governments of seven cities as part of a three-day ‘Network Exchange’ sponsored by 100 Resilient Cities. Looking at the intersection of urban informality and resilience, the aim is to share best practices across continents and surface tactical interventions for addressing the vulnerability of informal systems to resilience shocks and stresses, as well as integrating the best aspects of informality into formal city planning.
Discussion will center around four core sectors: housing, transport services, waste management, and economy, to understand the ways in which formal and informal components of cities can and do work productively together. A host of local and international partners will lend their expertise in helping us advance a shared understanding of informality as a key component of resilience, particularly for cities experiencing rapid growth.
As host city of the Exchange, we also opening up Addis Ababa as a living laboratory. Guided by local community leaders and storytellers, the group will visit Merkato to explore how formal and informal systems coexist in a particular space, and the challenges and opportunities for integration. Stopping at illustrative sites ranging from recycling spaces and informal businesses to newly constructed housing and parking facilities, we will elaborate on practices in Addis Ababa that help address vulnerabilities of the informal sector while also achieving multiple resilience benefits.
African cities participating in the Network Exchange are Accra, Cape Town, Lagos, and Paynesville; we are also joined by Chennai, India and the South American cities Montevideo, Uruguay and Salvador, Brazil. Throughout the week live updates will be posted on the Resilient Addis Ababa Facebook and Twitter accounts and using the hashtag #InformalityExchange.