TURN works relationally across three major themes of research within the overarching umbrella of urban informality.


Housing is a natural entry point for studying informality in a neighborhood, since it is a visible and stable manifestation of the settlement. In itself, it is affected by the nature of tenure of land, the activity of the people and the resources available to them.


This inquiry will involve a historical ethnography of place, writing the history of how the settlement was inhabited and built for a minimum of three informal settlements. In understanding how the settlement was made, the intent is to make visible key knowledge about how it will continue to change and the kinds of forces that act upon it.


This inquiry will focus on the changing nature of work within large cities, at their peripheries and in smaller towns, the marginalisation and threats to informal livelihoods, the migrant status of service sector workers and on how strategic housing and work choices are made at the household scale.