Moving beyond informality-of-need and informality-of-desire

This is a comment on the following paper: Devlin, R. T. (2018). Asking ‘Third World questions’ of First World informality: Using Southern theory to parse needs from desires in an analysis of informal urbanism of the global North. Planning Theory17(4), 568-587. In this paper, the author suggests identifying two categories, informality-of-desire and informality-of-need, whereby the former refers to informal practices originating from the ‘desires of middle- and upper-class urban residents, and the latter represent[s] strategies to meet [the] needs of the urban poor’ (Devlin 2018: 570). In my comment I argue that the commendable conceptual reflection initiated by Ryan Thomas Devlin can (and should) be continued, to make more sophisticated and detailed the somewhat simplistic picture that, unintentionally and indirectly, might emerge from the ‘informality-of-need/informality-of-desire’ dichotomy. A reply by Ryan Thomas Devlin follows my comment.

Chiodelli F. (2021). Moving beyond informality-of-need and informality-of-desire: Insights from a southern (European) perspective. Planning Theory, 20(4): 390-394

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