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Dr Konstantinos Moraitis, Professor, School of Architecture NTUA, Greece


Elena Konstantinidou, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture NTUA, Greece

Title: Social and Urban Informality: Migration, Multinational And Multicultural Societies


Using the term ‘informality’ we tend to approach conditions, characterizing not only contemporary cities but also contemporary societies in general. Multilevel conflicts expressed through severe social differentiation, appear to be a constant phenomenon, not only in peripheral countries, but even in the interior of Western world.
Social conflict and social contradiction, even in Western countries, appear to surpass central control and threaten to de-stabilize, to de-form what could conventionally be described as ‘stabilized’, ‘formal’ social structure. National, religious and economic differences in the interior of Western states, the late flux of refugees creating an enormous migration movement, and what is even more important terrorism, make obvious that we cannot refer to a predetermined ‘stability’, to centrally determined decisions, applied in urban theory approaches and moreover in urban practices. On the contrary, cities and societies appear to be under constant de-formation and re-formation, in an evolutionary or destructive way.
Social and political theory as well as natural sciences agreed, as early as in 19th century, that previous tendencies, evolution or destruction, both of them seem to be unavoidable. They seem to be the general state of living conditions that human societies have to manage and deal with. Contemporary conditions, in the interior of societies which we used to accept as ‘uni-form’, their undisputable multicultural reality, their contemporary multinationalism, the constant movement of immigrants and refugees, offer the general outline of the reality that we have to ‘absorb’, in the best possible way. We are forced to invent modes of correlation with these ‘informal’ conditions and, moreover, to ‘trans-form’ some of them to features of future positive formations.

Related Issues

  • The concept of ‘Informality’ in social and urban context.
  • The description of ‘Informality’ as a constant neglected reality of Western urban past.
  • The description of ‘Informality’ as a general term of ‘epistemic’ and ‘epistemological’ importance.
  • The possibility of recuperation of ‘informal’, social and urban conditions.
  • The possibility of dealing with urban conflict.
  • The correlation with social groups of cultural and religious difference.
  • Proposals of support for immigrants’ and refugees’ groups.
  • The description of informality and to the integration of informal conditions in spatial terms.
  • The description of ‘Informality’ as a constant neglected reality of Western urban past.


  • ‘Informality’ issues affect, interfere and intervene in the identity of place, in previous and contemporary societies.
  • ‘Informality’ issues may be integrated and managed as part of spatial trans-formations, in urban or peri-urban territories.
  • ‘Informality’ confers to urban territories versatile, resilient characteristics, associated to transcultural and transnational identity, especially in the countries of Mediterranean periphery.
  • ‘Informality’ may be accepted not as a problem but as a social and urban perspective.


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