Informal Urban Communities: Urbanization and social inequity are closely related, defining issues of our era.  In the next 30 years, virtually all of the world’s population growth will take place in developing cities. By the year 2050, 2 billion people could live in informal urban settlements, or ‘slums’. Slums are born out of the complex interactions of social, political, environmental and economic systems. The challenges that ‘slum’ dwellers face are complex and multifaceted. They range from a lack of adequate sanitation to increased vulnerability to climate change.  Despite the hardships they face, slum communities are remarkably vibrant and resilient. By privileging local knowledge and working in close collaboration with community members, we not only have the opportunity to improve living conditions, we also stand to learn deal about emergent, bottom-up processes of city making.