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Street vending and its ability to produce space: The case of the Tepito market in Mexico City downtown area

Oriard Colin, LR; (2015) Street vending and its ability to produce space: The case of the Tepito market in Mexico City downtown area. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Street vending is a widespread phenomenon in the cities of the so-called developing countries. However, city planning systems have responded to the situation in a limited way, among other factors, because street vending is inherently difficult to regulate, especially from current paradigms of ‘public space’ (Brown 2006, Bhowmik 2010, Cross and Morales 2007). Street vending is explored in this thesis as an evolving and complex system that has become capable of transforming space; this perspective represents an original contribution to knowledge. Street vendors, I argue, understand the commercial potential of the streets and are able to create attractive and vibrant marketplaces. However, their entrepreneurial activities might contribute to the increase in the land value of the streets, and to the establishment of new spatial relations, which tend to transform the public domain into a ‘commercial asset’ affecting the organisation of the neighbourhood. To support such argument, the thesis uses Systems Theory as a general approach, analysing how the interrelationships between ‘vendors’ and ‘space’ contribute to the transformation of space into a ‘product’. The ‘Production of Space’ Theory developed by Henri Lefebvre in 1974 is used to formulate the research problem. The case of the Tepito market in Mexico City was used to explore three hypotheses that might explain the capacity of street vending to produce space. The first concerns the relationship between the city authorities and the street vendors, and how their alliances have empowered the commercial system. The second analyses the capacity of the commercial system to create social and spatial structures at different territorial scales. Finally, the third explores the effects of the expansion of the commercial system in relation to the organisation of the Tepito neighbourhood.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Street vending and its ability to produce space: The case of the Tepito market in Mexico City downtown area
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469175
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