Urban informality is being respatialized, as varied technologies are used as a means to sanitize urban spaces of informality. Street workers may also reconfigure the spatialities of urban informality. This panel explores these dynamics, and their implications for urban residents.
New urban ambitions are reworking African cities, their spaces, economies and politics. Urban informality is being respatialized as urban dwellers depending on public spaces for survival get displaced or relocated. Discursive, juridical and material technologies of control are increasingly used in many cities which seek to sanitize certain urban spaces of informality. Practitioners of street work may also devise strategies to protect their claims to urban spaces or to navigate the changing urban landscape, thus themselves actively contributing to the reconfiguring of the spatialities of urban informality. This panel seeks to explore these current spatial dynamics, the multiple forces driving them, the resulting multi-layered negotiations over contested urban spaces, their outcomes and implications for the urban majorities relying upon varied forms of street work for their existence in the city.