About Urb Lab

Urb Lab is a compendium of thoughts, musings, and visual explorations into our urban environment. Of greatest interest are grassroots and informal manifestations of urban planning, or those residing within civil society and the third sector, and not necessarily within the government sector. Numerous scholars and community organizers sense a shift towards third sector forms of governance, disparately terming these movements. Regardless, these movements can be sensed in the environment through overt protest, community organizing, social cues, and more subtle physical markers. Throughout this site, I document and analyze these overt and subtle markers, increasingly focusing my attention on three major topics:

Community Development

Examining the intersection of solidarity (community) and agency (development), in the spirit of Bhattacharyya's (1995; 2004) community development framework.

Urban Informality and Formality

While numerous communities, cultures, and individuals are often negatively marked as "informal", informality is seen as a mode of social transaction that any individual may enter into.

Local and National Border Studies

Understanding the power of reified territorial boundaries, not by seeing borders everywhere or seeing a 'borderless' world, but by "studying through" site.