for decades now the debate around and approaches to the informal city have been profoundly despatialized. Since the mid-1990s, however, a new generation of policies, programs, and projects for the informal city have returned to the role of architecture and design in addressing the scale of informality and of the social needs associated with it. A rich spectrum of experiences of different scales and ambitions has emerged, but no systematic assessment of their significance and impact has yet been undertaken. This short text reflects on some of the arguments of the recently created research cluster on Urbanism and the Informal City within the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) regarding the direction and contribution of those experiences.