Informal markets have emerged as a vital part of cities around the world, from the new mega‐cities of the Global South to the old centers of political and economic power. Spurred by deregulation and accelerating global flows, they are commonly tolerated as shock‐absorbers of widening social divisions. Yet, whenever these markets show signs of establishing realms of their own official rhetoric paints them as threat to social and economic order, often followed by governmental actions of demolition, re‐location or privatization.
Debating the spatial culture of informal markets as an arena of negotiation between multiple political demands, social actors and environmental constraints, ‘Informal Market Worlds’ departs from the question of how we can build more equal participation in the space of economy vis‐à‐vis the economy of space. In
what ways can the spatial practices and cultural mechanisms that sustain informal markets help us in articulating progressive policies more adapt to the transnational realities of today’s populations?

A two‐day event of presentations and discussions, ‘Informal Market Worlds’ will bring together research on the architecture and visual culture of informal markets with a range of case studies from across the Americas and beyond. In addition to input from theorists in the fields of urbanism and political economy, the meeting will include presentations by architects, artists and activists on a range of markets such as the La Salada market in Buenos Aires, the Tri Border Area of Ciudad del Este, the Dominican border markets, street markets in the US or the informal economies of El Tepito in Mexico City.

A two‐day research forum on the trading places of urban informality, co‐organized by the Center for Urban Ecologies (CUE) at UCSD and the FWF Science Fund research project Other Markets

16-17 February 2012
UC San Diego
La Jolla Campus
Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall
9500 Gilman Drive #0436
La Jolla, CA 92093-0436