Adaptive resistance amidst planning and administrative failure: The story of an informal settlement in the city of Kitwe, Zambia
Informal settlements often emerge, due to rapid urbanisation or failure of urban systems, with negative resultant effects. Such settlements are viewed as a blight to the beauty and order of modern cities, attracting demolition threats from local authorities. Despite the use of force through emolitions and evictions, a number of these settlements have grown to a point where many have attracted upgrading initiatives rather than demolition. Hence, they have become permanent features of the vast majority of cities in the Global South. This study poses the question: How do these settlements transcend serious threats to their existence and still consolidate and grow? The study found that the answer lies in their adaptive resistance capacity. As settlements resist eviction, they also adapt rules from formal systems, in order to minimise their negative image. As a result, with time, conditions improve within the settlements. The study used Mindolo North informal settlement in the city of Kitwe as a case study to examine mechanisms through which informal settlements emerge, consolidate and grow.
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