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2019年第2期   DOI:10.22217/upi.2018.552
非正规美国城市:深化对非正规城市主义的理解
The Informal American City: Deepening the Understanding of Informal Urbanism

威尼·穆西贾 阿纳斯塔西娅·卢卡图 - 塞德里斯

Vinit Mukhija, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

关键词:非正规性 ;非正规城市主义 ;美国 ;误解 ;空间理解

Keywords:Informality; Informal Urbanism; American; Misconception; Spatial Understanding

摘要:

本文来源于我们 2014 年出版的著作——《非正规美国城市 :超越快餐车与计时工》(The Informal American City: Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor)中的前言与结论部分。该著作审视了美国城市生活中的“非正规变革”。我们通过一系列案例研究,从经验和理论两个层面探讨了(美国城市)非正规现象的增长,而这种现象通常被视为更多地存在于发展中国家而非工业化国家。尽管一直以来非正规城市主义被规划者和政策制定者视为边缘甚至是犯罪行为而不加考虑,但是我们通过包括洛杉矶、萨克拉门托、西雅图、波特兰、菲尼克斯、堪萨斯、亚特兰大和纽约在内的一系列案例研究,对这一狭隘的观念提出了质疑。

令人惊讶的是,尽管非正规城市主义出现迅猛,规划与城市设计领域的学术文献却甚少提及。因此,我们希望可以抛开传统的观点,审视在美国不同环境与城市中非正规活动的出现、增长与活力。我们倾向于采取更加复杂的方法去认知、理解和处理非正规活动,而非仅仅浪漫化地去赞扬它 ;我们也将争取对非正规性及其环境有一个明确的空间理解,并讨论规划者、政策制定者、城市设计者和社区应如何应对这种新出现的、蕴含着机会与挑战的城市景观。

美国城市中的非正规活动普遍且多样。其中的大多数活动在本质上并非犯罪,也超出了经济上的谋生范畴。虽然非正规性通常与移民相联系,但是非正规活动广泛地存在于不同的社会团体、多样的城市环境和全国不同的地理区域中。正规与非正规活动可能时而冲突、时而交叠或相互依存。非正规活动的案例研究帮助揭示了非正规性的逻辑、潜在合理性,以及非正规活动与城市和法规中更大的政治经济(活动)之间的结构性联系。这些案例通过非正规活动中潜在的获益者与失意者间的联系,展示了这类活动的矛盾本质。

近年来出现了一些关于非正规性的迷思和错误观念。迷思之一是非正规性是发展中国家的重要部分,且仅仅出现在发达国家城市中极度贫困和边缘化的社区。然而,不同类型城市的非正规性已经清晰地出现在了发达国家城市的中产阶级和富裕的邻里。第二种迷思认为正规和非正规的活动与环境之间是泾渭分明的,然而在一些城市的正规与非正规环境之间,我们并未发现明显的分界线。第三种迷思是非正规性是一种暂时的现象和短暂的构造,然而非正规活动的空间广泛性与时间延续性所展现出的恰恰相反。最后,非正规活动总是被视为一种美德,或是一种消极的现象,这种认识掩盖了非正规活动并非同质的,而是依赖于具体的背景和环境的事实。在对非正规城市主义的挑战与机遇作出回应之前,规划者和政策制定者与其坚持这些迷思,不如深化对于非正规城市主义的理解,并仔细思考它们的社会和物质背景。

Abstract:

This article draws from the introduction and conclusion chapters of our edited book, The Informal American City: Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor (Mukhija and Loukaitou-Sideris 2014), which examines the “informal revolution” in American urban life. Through a series of case studies, we empirically and theoretically explore a growing phenomenon more often associated with developing countries than with industrialized ones. While informal urbanism is usually dismissed by planners and policymakers as marginal or even criminal, our case studies from across the country, including Los Angles, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Kansas City, Atlantic City, and New York City, challenge such narrow conceptions.

Surprisingly, even the scholarly planning and urban design literature rarely addresses informal urbanism despite its increasing presence. Therefore, we wish to depart from the conventional wisdom and examine the unexpected presence,  proliferation, and vibrancy of informal activities in different U.S. settings and cities. But rather than romantically celebrating informality, we are keen to develop more sophisticated ways to recognize, understand, and address it. We also argue for an explicitly spatial understanding of informality and its settings; and discuss how planners, policy makers, urban designers, and communities can respond to the new emerging landscape of opportunities and challenges.

Informal activities in U.S. cities are widespread and varied. Most of them are not criminal in nature, nor are they limited to instances of economic survival. And while informality has often been associated with immigrants, informal activities are pervasive and spread across different social groups, diverse urban settings, and different geographical regions of the country. Formal and informal activities may at times conflict and at times overlap or depend on one another. Case studies of such activities help reveal the logic and underlying rationality of informality, and the structural linkages between informal activities and the larger political economy of cities and regulations. They also show the contradictory nature of informality, with both potential winners and losers associated with informal activities.

Some myths and misconceptions about informality have developed over the years. One such myth is that urban informality is part and parcel of the Global South, and only appears in very poor and marginalized neighborhoods of cities of the Global North. However, urban informality of different types is now quite visible even in middle-class and affluent neighborhoods of the Global North. A second myth assumes that formal and informal activities and settings are always distinct and rigidly separated. However, we do not find such drastic separation between some formal and informal settings in cities. A third myth is that informality is a temporary phenomenon and an ephemeral construct; however, the ubiquity and persistence of many informal activities and settings tells us otherwise. Lastly, notions that informality is always a virtue, or the opposite—
it is always negative, belie the fact that informal activities are not homogenous but rather depend on context and circumstance. Rather than perpetuating these myths, planners and policy makers should deepen their understanding of informal urbanism and take into consideration their specific social and physical context, before responding to the challenges and opportunities of informal urbanism.

版权信息:本文原为麻省理工学院出版社(The MIT Press)出版的《非正规美国城市 :超越快餐车与计时工》(The Informal American City: Beyond
基金项目:
作者简介:

威尼·穆西贾,加州大学洛杉矶分校城市规划系副教授
阿纳斯塔西娅·卢卡图 - 塞德里斯,加州大学洛杉矶分校城市规划系教授

译者简介:

陈瑞,重庆大学建筑城规学院硕士研究生

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