Informal and Formal Market Spaces as Emergent Infrastructures

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Understanding Urban Dynamics of Informal and Formal Market Spaces as Emergent Infrastructures: Self- Organisation Processes of Urban Growth and the use of Collective Spaces in the African City – the case of
Onitsha Markets, Nigeria.

“The research project’s objective is to obtain critical insight in the role and meaning of emergent infrastructures, self-organisation processes of collective market spaces in Onitsha and how these can provide resilient design strategies for urban growth in developing countries. Onitsha as a rapidly growing city in Nigeria comprises a conglomeration of markets. These markets amidst limited conventional urban infrastructure drive and define the uncontrolled exponential urban growth patterns within the city and its periphery. The research seeks to understand why and how these markets, understood as a system of emergent infrastructures and collective spaces are inextricably interwoven with the city’s transformation, growth, spatial experience and liveability. Analysis of morphological and functional components of market clusters, permeability, accessibility performance, services, transport flows and ethnography on adaptive approaches to the existing contextual layers of forces will be conducted. The research findings will contribute to discourses on emerging and unconventional cities of global south urbanisation processes and detect possible strategies for resilient growth and transformation in this context.”

pre-PhD project, Vincent Chukwuemeka (prom. prof. Kris Scheerlinck, co-prom. prof. Yves Schoonjans)