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Jakarta Post

Street vendors also deserve urban space

  • Deden Rukmana

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 8 2008   /  11:48 am

We often see problems associated with street vendors (pedagang kaki lima) in Indonesian cities. Street vendors conduct their business on sidewalks, in city parks, on pedestrian bridges and on streets. They are often regarded as an undesirable eyesore. In many cases, authorities have forcibly evicted street vendors in the name of "urban order" and "cleanliness". But street vendors often resist such evictions and demand space for their businesses. Do street vendors deserve urban space for their businesses? To answer this question, I would like to introduce the concept of urban informality as a framework for understanding street vendors found in urban areas. The concept of urban informality emerged from a dichotomy between the formal and informal sectors discussed in the early 1970s. The informal sector is a common phenomenon in developing c...