Informal Green Infrastructure (IGI) and the Pursuit of Sustainable Development in Quito City

  • Ignacio Loor

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis develops an empirical conceptualisation of informal green infrastructure (IGI) intended to help anticipate the making and unmaking of green spaces in informal settlements. Using a case study of informal settlements in Quito, this study examines how people settled in these spaces use the neighbouring green landscape and unoccupied pieces of land to shape and develop IGIs as infrastructures of everyday life, which are meant to overcome some of their socio-spatial constraints. This study approaches infrastructure as both, a relational concept and a community of practice. Data collection involves a mix of qualitative methods, which includes archives analyses, transect walks, different formats of interviews, and observations. The study identifies community allotments, footpaths over and along neighbouring slopes and ravines, and pitches for football and ecuavoley as the most prevalent infrastructures that fit into the criteria of IGI. These are membership-based green spaces embedded in infrastructure networks of the city, which support different types of income generation locally and everyday access to urban amenities. Moreover, community allotments are used for food access, while also allow women to develop social capital that is useful to achieving daily household chores and connections in the city; footpaths provide connectivity to mobility infrastructures that allow settlers reach their daily destinations; and pitches enable leisure choices, while enhance the collective ability to mobilise resources and interventions toward improved informal settlements. Also, IGIs are developed and maintained by their users, are often altered to preserve their functionalities in harmony with changes in the city processes, and support urban transformation in still-green ways. Finally, IGIs' stakeholders are actors typically overlooked in the green space debates. For this study, policy makers and stakeholders involved in the city's food retailing, urban transportation, and sports leadership, have the ability to impact the production, transformation, and reproduction of IGIs.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJames Evans (Supervisor) & Leandro Minuchin (Supervisor)


  • Sustainable development
  • Urban pitches
  • Urban agriculture
  • Informal settlements
  • Green infrastructure
  • Urban mobility

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