Pick of the day: Why Chennai’s Vendors Prefer the Sidewalk to the Mall – The Informal City Dialogues

For vendors in Chennai, an informal outdoor location can be more profitable than a formalized indoor one. Credit: Jamie Osborne

For vendors in Chennai, an informal outdoor location can be more profitable than a formalized indoor one. Credit: Jamie Osborne

I recently posted a series of blog entries on informality and formalization in Johannesburg using street vendors, taxis and settlements as examples (see here for the 1st,2nd3rd4th5th and 6th). Here is a blog and a project with very interesting material on the same subject. This article is about formalization attemps of vendors in Chennai, India, and their effects.

“The example of Lily Pond throws into sharp relief the often rigid, uncreative, all-or-nothing approach to street-vendor formalization. The lack of flexibility is embedded right into the city’s code — according to the Corporation of Chennai’s Land and Estates Department: ‘[A]ll vendors on footpaths and pavements are illegal because these structures are meant solely for pedestrian passage.’ As such, the civic body has begun a program of evicting street vendors like Mr. Afzal and resettling them in multi-story shopping complexes. Street vendors are not consulted on the designs or locations of these facilities, and many can’t afford the rents or don’t have the resources necessary to bid on available shops.”

Read the whole blog entry by Jamie Osborne here: Why Chennai’s Vendors Prefer the Sidewalk to the Mall – The Informal City Dialogues.

About Ares

Ares Kalandides holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the National Technical University of Athens. He is the founder and CEO of Inpolis, an international consultancy based in Berlin, Germany and has implement several projects around the world. Ares teaches Urban Economics at the Technical University in Berlin and Metropolitan Studies at NYU Berlin.
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