HomeThe City and Housing

HomeThe City and Housing

The City and Housing

المدينة والسكن

La ville et l’habitat

The Problem of Urban Extensions & Informal Housing

إشكالية التوسعات العمرانية والسكن العشوائي

La problématique des extensions urbaines et de l’habitat informel

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2024


Studies on informal housing are often fragmented, limiting the overall understanding of the issue. Beyond housing precariousness, informal housing encompasses a complexity of aspects influenced by various economic, social, and political factors, with a perspective often focused on Southern countries. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to fully grasp these dynamics and formulate inclusive urban policies adapted to all societies.



Most studies and research addressing the issue of informal housing tend to approach it from angles and perspectives that do not fully grasp its essence or its requirements (Bardhan et al., 2019; Schneider, 2002), typically focusing on certain aspects rather than others (Connolly, 2009; Lehmann, 2020; Moser, 1978; Roy, 2009; Soyinka et al., 2021). Consequently, the issue of informal housing has become subject to fragmented views[1] according to areas of expertise (Parnell & Oldfield, 2014), leading to a fragmented approach and hindering the possibility of truly understanding its essence and proposing a comprehensive and sustainable solution.

Moreover, the challenges associated with informal housing are not limited solely to the study and analysis of housing precariousness itself or its specific contexts but encompass a much broader and complex range of aspects and manifestations (Alves, 2018; Deuskar, 2019; Ho, 2014). Indeed, these challenges unfold across all urban environments, taking various forms influenced by a multitude of surrounding economic, social, cultural, and political factors (Harris, 2018), which in turn vary across regions and countries.

Thus, in analyzing the issue of informal housing and urban informality, a perspective specifically oriented towards Southern countries has been favored, leading to a trend where available data seem to favor an emancipation of Northern countries from these issues[2], highlighting a predominance of the Southern perspective on informality compared to that of Northern countries[3] (Angel, 2000, p. 329; Arnott, 2009; Durst & Wegmann, 2017; Neuwirth, 2006).

For a better understanding of urban informality, it is essential to approach it from a multidisciplinary perspective, integrating a diversity of approaches. This allows for the exploration of collective imaginaries, involved actors, and social, economic, and political processes that underlie and shape informality.

From this perspective, we can achieve a broader and more precise understanding of the issues raised by identifying how the phenomenon of informal housing influences and is influenced by urban dynamics on a larger scale. This approach will deepen our understanding of this global phenomenon and shed light on its geographical and social characteristics. This is essential for developing more inclusive and adapted urban policies that reflect the reality of all societies, whether located in Southern or Northern regions.

In this context, adopting a multidisciplinary approach methodology offers us the opportunity to address both urban and informal housing issues by overcoming the limitations and restrictions imposed by fragmented approaches. This approach will thus allow us to understand the complexity of this crucial phenomenon, which, it is important to emphasize, plays a fundamental role in the social and economic fabric of cities, equally.

The conference proposes an in-depth exploration of the complex interactions between housing, urbanity, and informality in various geographical contexts. The objective is to understand to what extent these three elements engage in dialogue or confrontation, how they are defined or redefined, and under what modalities and temporalities specific to each country and city.

By focusing on the impact of informal constructions in urban and peri-urban spaces, the conference seeks to probe the new faces of informality and explore the associated imaginaries (perspectives), with particular attention to the role of informal housing in this process. It aims to better understand how informality is expressed in these specific environments, and how the representations and perceptions surrounding it influence its manifestation.

Simultaneously, a thorough analysis of the temporalities linked to informality in urban contexts will be conducted. Understanding how informality evolves over time and adapts to social, economic, or political changes is essential for grasping its effects on urban dynamics.

The conference also aims to emphasize the perceived risks and opportunities on the ground resulting from the processes of the issues raised, both regarding urban issues and/or informal housing. By examining how these informal activities are perceived and experienced by local actors, it will be possible to identify the challenges and advantages related to the issue addressed in this conference.

Furthermore, this conference will seek to highlight the areas, axes, and levels of interaction with stakeholders and actors involved in these processes, whether governmental, community-based, or from the unofficial private sector. Emphasis will be placed on those who can play a role in promoting or organizing urban issues, as understanding the interactions generated among these actors is crucial for developing more effective policies and strategies in addressing the problems.

In summary, the conference aims to provide a space for in-depth reflection on the complex links between housing, urbanity, and informality, drawing on case studies, notably in Algeria, to enrich the understanding of these phenomena. By adopting a comparative and multidisciplinary approach, it aims to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by these interactions for Southern societies and to formulate informed recommendations for more suitable and inclusive urban policies.


  • Axe 1 : Approaches to the evolution of informal housing (spatio-temporal dimension).
  • Axe 2 : Contributions of stakeholders to the production and development of informal housing.
  • Axe 3 : Informal housing : Architectural and urban forms.
  • Axe 4 : Challenges and risks of informal housing on the urban environment.

Submission Guidelines

Authors are kindly invited to submit a 450-word abstract with 4 to 6 keywords in French, Arabic, or English on one of the previously described axes. All submissions must include a high-quality research contribution describing original and unpublished results of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, or theoretical work in the field of climate change and its impacts on urban development.

Abstracts should include the following elements:

  • Communication Title
  • Axis(es)
  • Author(s) Name(s)
  • Affiliations and Professional Email Addresses of the Corresponding Author

Candidates may participate with one or more communications. The number of authors in a communication must not exceed three authors.

Abstracts must be submitted exclusively electronically via the link (Click here to proceed to the submission link)

before June 15, 2024.

The selected articles will be published in "Journal of Architecture and environment of child”

Participation fees

The conference participation fees will be communicated to you later.

Important dates

  • Submission of abstracts (450 words): Deadline: June 15th, 2024.

  • First Notification to authors: June 30th, 2024.
  • Full paper submission deadline: September 15th, 2024.
  • Final notification of paper acceptance: September 30th, 2024.
  • Participant registration deadline: October 10th, 2024.
  • Conference date: October 20-21st, 2024.


Acceptance of abstracts and final articles will be made after evaluation by the Scientific Committee of the conference.

General coordinator of the conference


Scientific Committee

Committee President:

  • Pr. DIB Belkacem (University of Batna 1, Algeria).


  • Pr. SAHBI Wahiba (University of Batna 1, Algeria).
  • Pr. ALKAMA Djamel (University of Guelma, Algeria).
  • Pr. BENYOUCEF Ibrahim (The Observatory, Space and Society, Canada).
  • Pr. BENHACINE Nacira (University of Constantine 3, Algeria).
  • Pr. SOUALMIA Nouria (University of Mascara, Algeria).
  • Pr. ALSHABOUL Abdessalam (University of Jordan, Jordan).
  • Dr. RAHOUI Hocine (University of Tlemcen, Algeria).
  • Dr. ABDULLAH Mohamd Mhamoud (University of Cairo, Egypt).
  • Dr. EL CHEHIBI Ali (Higher Institute of Science and Technology, AlAbyar, Libya).
  • Dr. AL ZAMIL Walid Ben Saad (King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
  • Dr. GANDOUZ GHERBAL Zeineb (University of Sousse, Tunisia).
  • Dr. MANSOURI Lamia (University of Algiers 1).
  • Dr. HADJ MOHAMED Naima (University of Bechar, Algeria).
  • Dr. SAKHRI Adel (University of Biskra, Algeria).

Organizing committee

Committee President:

  • Dr. SAIDI Taher (University of Batna 1, Algeria)


  • Dr. BOUAFIA Abderazak (University of Batna 1, Algeria).
  • Dr. BOUDRAA Hocem (University of Batna 1, Algeria).
  • Dr. SOUFIAN Abdelkarim (University of Batna 1, Algeria)
  • BENAYCHA Abdennour (University of Batna 1, Algeria).
  • ZERHICHI Salim (University of Batna 1, Algeria).


University of Batna 1, Allées 19 mai. Route de Biskra 05000 Batna – Algeria.


Dr. BEDDIAF Walid (General Coordinator of the Confrence)

Dr. SAIDI Taher (President of organisation committee)



Alves, G. (2018). Determinants of Slum Formation: The Role of Local Politics and Policies [WorkingPaper]. CAF. https://cafscioteca.azurewebsites.net/handle/ 123456789/1158

Angel, S. (2000). Housing policy matters: A global analysis. Oxford University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10269201

Arnott, R. (2009). Housing Policy in Developing Countries: The Importance of the Informal Economy. In M. Spence, P. C. Annez, & R. M. Buckley (Eds.), Urbanization and Growth, Commission on Growth and Development (pp. 167–196). World Bank.

Bardhan, R., Jana, A., & Sarkar, S. (2019). Informality. In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (pp. 1–11). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118568446.eurs0161

Chiodelli, F. (2019). The Dark Side of Urban Informality in the Global North: Housing Illegality and Organized Crime in Northern Italy. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 43(3), 497–516. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12745

Chiodelli, F., Coppola, A., Belotti, E., Berruti, G., Clough Marinaro, I., Curci, F., & Zanfi, F. (2021). The production of informal space: A critical atlas of housing informalities in Italy between public institutions and political strategies. Progress in Planning, 149, 100495. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.progress.2020.100495

Connolly, P. (2009). Observing the evolution of irregular settlements: Mexico City’s colonias populares, 1990 to 2005. International Development Planning Review, 31(1), 1–35. https://doi.org/10.3828/idpr.31.1.2

Deuskar, C. (2019). Informal urbanisation and clientelism: Measuring the global relationship: Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019878334

Durst, N. J., & Wegmann, J. (2017). Informal Housing in the United States. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 41(2), 282–297. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12444

Gurran, N., Maalsen, S., & Shrestha, P. (2020). Is ‘informal’ housing an affordability solution for expensive cities? Evidence from Sydney, Australia. International Journal of Housing Policy, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2020.1805147

Harris, R. (2018). Modes of Informal Urban Development: A Global Phenomenon. Journal of Planning Literature, 33(3), 267–286. https://doi.org/10.1177/0885412217737340

Ho, P. (2014). The credibility theses and its application to property rights: (In)Secure land tenure, conflict and social welfare in China. Land Use Policy, 40, 13–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.09.019

Lehmann, S. (2020). The unplanned city: Public space and the spatial character of urban informality. Emerald Open Research, 2, 16. https://doi.org/10.35241/emeraldopenres.13580.1

Moser, C. O. N. (1978). Informal sector or petty commodity production: Dualism or dependence in urban development? World Development, 6(9), 1041–1064. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(78)90062-1

Neuwirth, R. (2006). Shadow cities: A billion squatters, a new urban world (1. Routledge paperback ed). Routledge.

Parnell, S., & Oldfield, S. (2014). The Routledge handbook on cities of the Global South (1 Edition). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Roy, A. (2009). The 21st-Century Metropolis: New Geographies of Theory. Regional Studies, 43(6), 819–830. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343400701809665

Schneider, F. (2002). Size and Measurement of the Informal Economy in 110 Countries Around the World.

Soyinka, O., Adenle, Y. A., & Abdul-Rahman, M. (2021). Urban informality and sustainable design of public space facilities: A case study of Hong Kong SAR of China in 2018. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23(11), 16560–16587. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01370-8

UN‐Habitat (Ed.). (2004). The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 15(3), 337–338. https://doi.org/10.1108/meq.2004.15.3.337.3


[1] This term was introduced in early 2004 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the introduction to the UN report entitled “The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003”, https://unhabitat.org/the-challenge. -of-slums-global-report-on-human-settlements-2003.

[2] Regardless of the extent of the reference to the data collected and reported by the United Nations, especially about conducting censuses of residential buildings and slums and/or informal neighborhoods in various countries of the world, we find that these various reports do not include in any capacity the various reports listed on the level of industrialized countries with large incomes (Arnott, 2009).

[3] In his book “Housing policy matters, a global analysis”, Angel (2000) provides an in-depth account of some of the data collected in 1990, highlighting the strong link between economic development and informal housing production. Where does the researcher see that the percentage of this production is estimated at about 65% for low-income countries and states, while the latter decreases significantly to reach zero at the level of high-income countries and states (Angel, 2000, p. 329; Durst & Wegmann, 2017)


  • Institut of architecture & urbanism - University of Batna 1, Allées 19 mai. Route de Biskra 05000 Batna – Algeria.
    Batna City, Algeria (05000)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


  • Saturday, June 15, 2024


  • habitat, ville, urbanisation, habitat informel, extension urbaine, dynamique urbaine, politique urbaine, pays du sud, pays du nord, acteur impliqué, pluridisciplinarité


  • Taher SAIDI
    courriel : taher [dot] saidi [at] univ-batna [dot] dz

Information source

  • Walid BEDDIAF
    courriel : walid [dot] beddiaf [at] univ-batna [dot] dz


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The City and Housing », Seminar, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/10s27

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search