The role of the informal economy in promoting urban sustainability: Evidence from a small Zimbabwean town.

This paper explores how the informal economy is enhancing urban sustainability in the context of global South urbanism. It uses evidence collected through ethnographic methods from Norton – a small Zimbabwean town to demonstrate how the informal economy is driving sustainable urbanism in its small ways in the absence of a functional formal economy in the town. While it acknowledges sustainable concerns around informal urbanisation, the paper argues that the sector can be an asset that can be harnessed to advance the sustainable urbanisation agenda. The study argues that some of the sector’s activities are playing a big role in; natural environment stewardship, skills development, promotion of social cohesion, indigenous knowledge systems and Ubuntu as well as contributing towards economic development. The paper argues for city and national governments to put more efforts to harness these seemingly small contributions in the quest to build more sustainable cities.