One of the key characteristics of many informal economies is the ability of participants to draw creatively and flexibly on all potential resources: human, material and spatial. This is particularly evident in households and settlements where a significant proportion of the economic activity is within micro scale, home-based enterprises (HBEs). By blurring and reconfiguring
the spatial and conceptual boundaries between work and home, between production and reproduction, many households are able to generate income to sustain themselves.
This paper will explore aspects of the interrelationship between economic and social processes through the use of empirical data collected during extended periods of participant observation and detailed interviews in a consolidated informal settlement (kampung) in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia. This research forms part of an ongoing international comparative research project
examining the impacts of home-based enterprises in four developing world cities. Extracts from the interviews complemented by household case studies will be used to illustrate how income generation activities are embedded within social networks and how in many cases traditional collaborative cultural values directly reinforce economic production. This is echoed in the use of space, particularly the overlapping and shared use of streets and alley ways. The paper concludes that despite severe economic constraints many traditional values facilitate survival in times of crisis and can be conducive to longer term sustainability.
H. Turgut and P. Kellett (eds.) Traditional Environments in a New Millenium: Defining Principles and Professional Practice, 63-68. Istanbul Technical University. pp. 12