Colombia 2014: Forms of Informality

The Urbanisms:

The Hard Line [FORMAL]
     MEDELLIN; where transportation, city planning, policies, the Paisa culture, and city’s physical limits seek to standardize, regulate, and formalize all aspects of the informal.

The Soft Line [HYBRID] 
      BOGOTA; where a sprawling city and soft network of mass-transit decypher/untangle/unscramble/re-constitute a city into chunks of formality. But in every planned development, in every government project, in every web of planned infrastructure - whether for the rich or the poor - forces of informality persist to soften hard boundaries [continued development of the mountain, informal uses for the Bosque de Esperanza, means of avoiding ley seca, tequilla-ticket avoiders on TransMilenio, politicians who attempt unconventional policies -- Mockus/Penalosa].

The Broken Line [INFORMAL]
     CARTAGENA; constrained, perforated, and then unconstrained, the city’s Costeno culture epitomizes the free-flowing spirit of Informal Colombia. Where boundaries exist, people strive to exceed them. Where limits and terrain obstruct growth, development, and recreation, infrastructure, geographic divisions and connections seek to stitch them back together.

The Metrics

- formal/informal development of the urban fringe
medellin - libraries and metrocable
bogota - mountain park systems and attempts to absorb informal barrios
cartagena - method of linking together its archaeopelago and relocating peoples

- formal uses of informal space
medellin - ‘informal’ development of the hillsides into a self-constructed barrio
bogota - the standardized uses of informal side
cartagena - the city wall and its formal uses as public space

- informal uses of formal space
medellin - the park/playground uses for santo domingo metrocable stop
bogota - the many uses of mazzanti’s bosque de esperanza canopy
cartagena - plaza trinidad in the daytime/nighttime

- co-presence of informal and formal transit
medellin - metro line and local busetas
bogota - transmilenio and local busetas
cartagena - roads versus boats; analysis of movement along city waterways

- formal city boundaries and informal geographic distinction 
medellin - gang boundaries along the library in san cristobal
bogota - the east/west divide between rich and poor along avenida caracas
cartagena - the breaking of the city wall and the bubble that remains

- informal architecture in a culture of formal-architecture acceptance
medellin - felipe mesa vs javier vera
bogota - giancarlo mazzanti vs daniel bermudez
cartagena - the rigid grid of the old city vs. the student work from the los andes taller

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