Metropolis NonFormal

Christian Werthmann and Jessica Bridger



6.7" x 9.4" (Portrait)
Limp bound
Publication date: 
Spring 2016
Rights world: 

Metropolis Nonformal addresses one of the most urgent urban challenges of our time. Informal settlements, known also as slums, shantytowns, or favelas, are on the rise: some one billion people live in them now. Up to two thirds of future urban growth will add billions more, consisting of neighborhoods that lack basic services such as sanitation—and the security of simple occupancy rights. This presents many problems, but there are people working on solutions.
This book contains twenty-five essays that present the ideas of leading thinkers, practitioners, and activists tackling this phenomenon in our cities now. With an eye toward the future, Metropolis Nonformal is the first publication aligned with the UN-Habitat Hub on Informal Urbanism.

Alongside an informative introduction to the topic, a careful selection of candid photographs from around the globe depicts diverse nonformal conditions, getting beyond stereotypical depictions. Each approach profiled is different—and each is lushly illustrated. Personal insights, extended resource listings, and carefully orchestrated content are designed to introduce the topic and to inspire people to consider getting involved in shaping our 21st century cities.

About the author: 

Christian Werthmann is a professor of landscape architecture and design at Leibniz University in Hannover. As a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at TU Munich, he curated the Metropolis Nonformal symposia, in 2011 and 2013, which form the basis of this publication. His research has been published and exhibited internationally, and he is regularly a speaker at conferences about landscape and urbanism.

Jessica Bridger is an urbanist, journalist, and consultant. She has authored and edited numerous books, magazines, and articles, and she is a contributing editor for Monocle Magazine. Her consultancy conducts expert research, strategic planning, and media projects for public- and private-sector clients. Trained as a landscape architect at Harvard University, she was a Bakema Fellow of the Netherlands Architecture Institute.