On the afternoon of June 25, 2019, the second lecture of the IHarbour Lecture Sociological Series was delivered by Professor Alan Smart, titled: Informality in Human Society: Hong Kong as a Case Study. Alan Smart is an anthropological professor at the University of Calgary, Canada. In the lecture, he took Hong Kong as the case study, demonstrated its 35 years of ethnographic and archival research results and expounded on the informality in human society, with a focus on economic informality.
Professor Smart first described general informality in human society as practice that does not conform to rules and is normatively or legally expected in all aspects of human behavior and institutions. Next, he discussed the economic informality related to tax implications and the informal economic value in agricultural and household work, and expounded on the deep impact of economic informality on economic planning and human economy. In the meantime, Professor Smart also comprehensively discussed informality and the current standardized path in the human society based on a 35 years of ethnographic and archival research in Hong Kong, China. At the end, a term "Smart City" was put forward in the light of relationships between a smart city and formalization. Through balancing informality in human society, the capacities of cities to meet human and environmental needs would increase, thus people’s lives would be further improved.