This lecture examines how precarious urban livelihoods in the informal economy can be transformed by innovative and rights-based approaches to urban policy, contributing to economic and social inclusion, and recovery in crisis-affected cities.

The informal economy is the lifeblood of many cities today. It provides jobs for urban workers, provides flexible services to urban residents, and makes significant contributions to urban economies.
However, diversity makes the informal economy hard to capture in conventional urban policy processes, and for many informal workers precarious and dangerous work, exploitation, harassment, or evictions are a daily threat. Recognising the potential of urban informal workers and their solidarity economy in urban planning, informal settlement upgrading, and recovery from urban violence, disasters and other crises is key to social inclusion of informal workers, to local economic development and to building resilience in 21st century cities. This lecture addresses the challenges and opportunities that the informal economy presents.
This video is part of UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Lecture series. The Global Urban Lectures are 15-minute lectures on themes related to sustainable urbanisation, delivered by renowned experts, UN-Habitat partners and UN-Habitat staff.
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