Pick of the day: Beneath Its Polished Surface, a Black-Market Shopping Center Thrives – The Informal City Dialogues

A series of renovations have made Polvos Azules nearly indistinguishable from a formal mall. Photo credit: Manuel Vigo

A series of renovations have made Polvos Azules nearly indistinguishable from a formal mall. Photo credit: Manuel Vigo

“Polvos Azules is a study in contradiction. According to Gestión, a local business newspaper, 90 percent of its stores are “formalized.” They pay taxes (to some degree) and adhere to basic safety standards. The shops are fully licensed by the city, and much like Lima in general, the building itself has been gradually transforming into something that, at least visually, appears formal and regulated. Dirt floors have been upgraded with ceramic tiling, many of the stores now take most major credit cards, and even Interbank, one of the country’s largest banks, has opened a branch inside the sprawling complex.”

read the whole story here: Beneath Its Polished Surface, a Black-Market Shopping Center Thrives – 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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