Informal settlements in a COVID-19 world: moving beyond upgrading and envisioning revitalisation

Matthew French, Diego Ramirez-Lovering, Sheela S. Sinharoy, Amelia Turagabeci, Ihsan Latif, Karin Leder, Rebekah Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic represents a turning point in the way things are done, globally and across sectors. We reflect on approaches to informal settlements and argue for a turn from ‘upgrading’ to ‘revitalisation’. We conceptualise revitalisation as encompassing three core tenets: planetary health, transdisciplinarity, and a people-centred approach. In our vision, revitalisation approaches would take a big-picture view of informal settlements that recognises the inter-connectedness of people and nature within complex urban systems; integrates perspectives from various academic disciplines, non-academic sectors, and communities for knowledge generation; and centres informal settlement residents and communities as experts and partners in urban praxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S52-S55
Number of pages4
JournalCities & Health
Issue numberSup1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • informal settlements
  • planetary health
  • slums
  • transdisciplinarity
  • Urban

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