Mobilising the Periphery
with ANCB Research Partner the Schindler Transit Management Group

2014 - 2017

Mobilising the Periphery focusses on the development of the urban periphery. The research project will stimulate an exchange of ideas, discuss new solutions and contribute insights to the understanding of evolving global urbanisation patterns. Central to the investigation is the idea of exchange and learning from best practices for a resilient future.

Urban peripheries - such as informal cities, barrios and suburbs - are typically perceived to present only great challenges or problems. With the project Mobilising the Periphery, ANCB and the Schindler Transit Management Group set out to stimulate new ways of thinking, to question the given precondition of current development and to initiate a discourse on urban realities at the periphery. The aim of the project is to cross-connect new approaches and insights within a widening network and to archive and share best-practice examples with a global audience, thus creating a new public community for urban peripheries worldwide.

The subject will be explored and interpreted from a range of perspectives prevalent in cities today, including examples of physical periphery – on the edge of the city (ghettos, suburbs, segregated housing estates), unregulated periphery – outside of the formal masterplan (slums, barrios, informal cities), and social periphery – on the margins of society (homeless, disabled, elderly, ethnic minorities).

Over the course of the next years, four types of periphery, exemplified by four case studies  – top-down-planning (China), informality and urban pattern (Sub-Saharan Africa), upgrading (Latin America) and segregation (Western Europe) – in connection to participation and social justice will be discussed in a range of different formats.

Mobilising the Periphery #3. Focus Sub-Saharan Africa: Informality and Urban Pattern

Public Debate and Expert Workshop: 1 - 2 July

Mobilising the Periphery #2. Focus China: The New Habitat

Public Debate and Expert Workshop: 27 - 28 November 2015
The government and the population in China are challenged by rapid urbanisation. The amount of arable land in the urban regions is shrinking at high speed and is therefore a valuable resource in need of a new strategy for allocation. There is a high demand for affordable housing, for additional forms of food production, for the reduction of long commuting distances – simply for a compact city organised in clusters of high functionality and with resilient impact.
How to reach an inclusive model that uses synergies and produces a dense network of interaction? How to integrate a city-wide strategy with bottom-up initiatives on a local scale? What are the realities and obstacles of the people living in so-called Urban Villages? How can the existing low-quality settlements at the fringes of the cities be upgraded? Are there new strategies in discussion for a hybrid new habitat?
More Info
Video recording

Mobilising the Periphery #1. Four Types Four Cases
Public Debate and Expert Workshop: 6 June 2015
This kick-off symposium brought together experts from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. They shared their work and insights into the issue of informality, upgrading, top-down-planning and segregation in the on-going process of urbanisation in the respective case-study areas.
In the afternoon, the public symposium was continued with an Internal Expert Workshop. The workshop provided an opportunity for the invited experts of the four study regions to discuss in-depth the pressing issues in an open discourse with the aim to sharpen the research questions for the project. In four working groups the need for outreaching networks and the exchange between the different investigated aspects were discussed. What can be learned from African informality and how can it be transformed to be useful in regions with strong formal frameworks? What can be transferred from upgrading favelas in South America to formal housing in Chinese developments? How to break open segregated communities with informal or upgrading strategies in unconventional ways?
More Info
Video recording

Part of the ANCB Theme:
Identity in Place

Concept Paper:
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Áine Ryan,


ANCB Partners 2016/17

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