13. - 15. 10. 2021
13 - 15 October, 2 - 5 pm each day, at Zoom

CESCAME (Centre for the Study of Social Change and the Material Environment) invites you to the online conference organised (online) at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, 13 – 15. 10., 2 – 5 pm each day (GMT +2 / Prague time).

Interactions between formality and informality in urban contexts: Insights from the margins

The conference is a three-day online event with nine invited presentations followed by discussion. The confirmed speakers are Anja Decker, Agnes Gagyi with Andras Vigvari, Hanna Hilbrandt, Petr Jehlicka, Liviu Chelcea, Nicolette Makovicky, Francisco Martinez with Keiti Kljavin, Tauri Tuvikene and Slavomíra Ferenčuhová.

The conference seeks to advance scholarship on urban informality that is manifested in negotiations, improvisations and co-production of practices and services, including those generated at the intersection of formality and informality, such as water management, transport and parking, housing, food provisioning and open markets. While focused on Central and East European (CEE) urban informality, the conference draws more widely on comparisons and debates across various geographical and cultural contexts, both urban and rural. The objective of the conference is to enhance the potential of scholarship on CEE informality both to subvert and extend more general systems of knowledge on a range of topics. These include the transformations and adaptations of formal policies, top-down institutions and infrastructures in response to challenges of everyday practices and non-consumption lifestyles.

To get the link to the Zoom event, please register here:


Wednesday 13. 10.

(all times are GMT +2 / Prague time)

14:00 / Nicolette Makovicky - Vocabularies of Informality: From languages of interest to languages of affect

14:45 / Tauri Tuvikene - “In-legalities” of urban transport in Tallinn, Estonia

15:35 / Petr Jehlička - Rendering the actually existing sharing economy visible: social networks, non-market exchanges and mutual help in Central and Eastern Europe

Thursday 14. 10.

14:00 / Anja Decker - Alternative food networks, precarity and agency in rural peripheries

14:45 / Agnes Gagyi, András Vigvári - Dynamics of housing and labor: Semi-informal dwelling in peri-urban Budapest

15:35 / Hanna Hilbrandt - Housing in the Margins: Negotiating Urban Formalities in Berlin’s Allotment Gardens 

Friday 15. 10.

14:00 / Liviu Chelcea - Water infrastructures and informality: Domestic water filters in New York City

14:45 / Slavomíra Ferenčuhová - Inconspicuous adaptations to climate change as households’ informal innovations?

15:35 / Francisco Martinez, Keiti Kljavin - Making Room for the Future? Urban Experimentation, Endurance and Demolition of Soviet Housing in Eastern Estonia


The programme with the abstracts can be downloaded below.

More information about CESCAME can be found here:


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