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The South African Informal City Exhibition

The Architects’ Collective, in collaboration with its valued partners, hosted the ‘The South African Informal City’ exhibition at the Bus Factory in Newtown from 11 November to 11 December 2011. The exhibition was one of the Technical Site Visits offered by the Local Government Programme for COP17, during the United Nations 17th Conference of Parties, which ran from 28 November to the 9 December 2011 in Durban, South Africa.

The initiative is a survey of South Africa’s most relevant and innovative design and research projects, featuring explorations and interventions in the informal sector from across the country. The aim is to open up dialogue and discussion around the critical issues of informality and urban development. As such, the month-long exhibition was accompanied by a one-day seminar exploring the opportunities and challenges around informality.

Feedback from the exhibition and seminar was so positive, and the demand for this information so great, that we are now exploring ways of expanding the SA Informal City project by publishing the exhibition and seminar, and by travelling the exhibition to the other major South African centres.

The SAIC Exhibition is an initiative of the Architects’ Collective, and has been made possible with the support of the Johannesburg Development Agency, the Neighbourhood Development Programme (National Treasury), the South African Cities Network, and the NRF Chair in Development Planning and Modelling, among others.