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Informal housing in global cities: case studies on Hong Kong, New York City and Toronto

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posted on 2021-05-25, 07:14 authored by Rui Huang
This paper examines the major characteristics and drivers of informal housing in three global cities. Despite each city’s unique path to urbanization, Hong Kong, New York City, and Toronto are experiencing housing issues that are reflective of many developed, wealthy cities around the world. Continued population increase from globalization, rising property costs, and insufficient housing stock has contributed to the persistence of various forms of housing that exist outside of formal processes. The case studies exposed distinctive socio-economic and political drivers that underlies this international phenomenon. The findings revealed a continuum of informal dwelling typologies that span across a spectrum of legality and illegality, ranging from highly visible structures to those that are more hidden. This research responds to the need to understand shared challenges between cities in the East and in the West, and may be particularly relevant to city builders who are concerned about distributive justice. Key words: informal housing, informal settlements, global cities, public housing, urban development





Master of Planning


Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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