Collegium Helveticum

Inclusive Cities
New Methods to Understand Informal Infrastructure Access


Venue & accessibility info: Rudolf Wolf Room, Collegium Helveticum

Participation is free of charge but by invitation only. If you would like to attend the symposium, please contact the organizer, Yael Borofsky.

Virtual participation is possible on both days:
Zoom link for May 28
Zoom link for May 29
Auto-captioning is available.

The keynote on May 28, the exhibition, and the reception are open to the public, please register here.

Over the course of two days, this symposium will feature a transdisciplinary array of perspectives from academia and practice on the opportunities, challenges, and ethics of AI and remote sensing for studying infrastructure in informal settlements. The participants will cover topics such as using remote sensing to identify informal settlements, using AI to study infrastructure, and what the future of urban infrastructure governance will look like with AI.

Tuesday, May 28


Arrival to the venue and registration


Opening and welcome remarks

Yael Borofsky
Collegium Helveticum

Isabel GĂĽnther
ETH Zurich, CH


New Ways of “Seeing” Informal Settlements

Seminar moderated by Isabel GĂĽnther (ETH Zurich) and Thabisa Mayapi (BM Section Informal Settlement).

Ken Harttgen
ETH Zurich, CH

Arianna Salazar Miranda
University of Chicago, US


Coffee break


Sensors for Studying the City
When it is “Smart” in Informal Settlements

Seminar moderated by Somayeh Dodge (Collegium Helveticum).

Paul Kyoma
Urban Action Lab, UG

June Lukuyu
University of Washington, US
Yamkela Rongwana
PJS Informal Settlement, ZA


Electricity and Service Provision in Informal Settlements

Xolelwa Maha
PJS Informal Settlement, ZA

Yamkela Rongwana
PJS Informal Settlement, ZA

Thabisa Mayapi
BM Section Informal Settlement, ZA

In the Meridian Hall


Urban Lighting Realities
4D Virtual Settlements from Cape Town to Sarajevo

Exhibition curated by Yael Borofsky (Collegium Helveticum) and Michael Walczak (ETH Zurich) with contributions by Federico Caprotti and Spotlight Kampala.

Accompanied by a reception, sponsored by ETH4D.

Wednesday, May 29


Arrival to the venue and registration


Hyper Local: Mixing Advanced Technologies and Deep Engagement
Case Studies in Transdisciplinary Research on Informal Settlements

Panel moderated by Jess Kersey (UC Berkeley).

Michael Walczak
ETH Zurich, CH

Federico Caprotti
University of Exeter, UK
Xolelwa Maha
PJS Informal Settlement, ZA
Judith Mbabazi
Makerere University, UG


Coffee break


AI for “Seeing” Infrastructure in Informal Settlements

Workshop with inputs by Yael Borofsky (Collegium Helveticum) and Jess Kersey (UC Berkeley).


Lunch break


Ethics of Big Data for Studying Informal Settlements

Moderated by Tea Lobo (ETH Zurich).

Michael Nagenborg
University of Twente, NL
Isaac Oluoch
University of Twente, NL


Future of Urban Service Provision and Informality in the Age of AI

Panel discussion moderated by Sarah Sabry (Save the Children & Global Alliance–Cities for Children) and David Kostenwein (ETH Zurich).

Federico Caprotti
University of Exeter, UK
Thandeka Tshabalala
City of Cape Town, ZA
Peter Mwesiga
UMEME Uganda


Closing remarks

Urban Lighting Realities


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