What is it about?

A B S T R A C T Street vending is a dynamic phenomenon of network of events, socio-economic and cultural factors while remaining a narration of place. At the metropolitan level, the narrative is negatively skewed towards street vending and its aesthetic reality, contemporaneously exploring hostile environmental interventions within the informal sector. This paper attempted to explore a counter-narrative asking; based on aesthetic experience, can the “desired” urban image be achieved by allowing street vendors proliferate in public spaces? This question was asked within the scope of the political-economy of diversification in Nigeria. Mapping over google satellite images over critical periods leading to demolitions and/or developments, this paper documented the spatial distribution of vendors to determine the urban centres that are hostile to vending activities and those that were not. The paper argued that, around public spaces such as parks and sidewalks, the precarious nature of vending activities lead to their diffidence in upgrades to stalls, tables and kiosks. With pictures from spaces that appear to approve of street vending tacitly, a pattern of upgrades in vending apparatus and kiosks were established. This paper proposes an integrative model of passive, active and tacit support that is required to influence the discourse of vending activities within the context of urban images produced in Nigerian. In conclusion and using sing Gouverneur (2014) concepts of receptors and transformers, this paper revealed that potential existing parks within a dense urban area could serve as transformers, creating an urban image that defies that “out of place” narrative associated with vendors.

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Economic Diversification and the Urban Image; Changing the Narrative on Street Vending PhD Candidate MUHAMMAD K. BALARABE1, *PhD Candidate ABDULSALAM I. SHEMA2, M.Sc. MARYAM AHMAD3 1Department of Architecture, Kaduna State University. Kaduna state, Nigeria. 2Department of Architecture, Cyprus International University.North Cyprus, Turkey. 3Department of Economics, Kaduna State University. Kaduna state, Nigeria. E mail:muhdkabir@gmail.com E mail:shemadaddy@gmail.com E mail: daso40@gmail.com A B S T R A C T Street vending is a dynamic phenomenon of network of events, socio-economic and cultural factors while remaining a narration of place. At the metropolitan level, the narrative is negatively skewed towards street vending and its aesthetic reality, contemporaneously exploring hostile environmental interventions within the informal sector. This paper attempted to explore a counter-narrative asking; based on aesthetic experience, can the “desired” urban image be achieved by allowing street vendors proliferate in public spaces? This question was asked within the scope of the political-economy of diversification in Nigeria. Mapping over google satellite images over critical periods leading to demolitions and/or developments, this paper documented the spatial distribution of vendors to determine the urban centres that are hostile to vending activities and those that were not. The paper argued that, around public spaces such as parks and sidewalks, the precarious nature of vending activities lead to their diffidence in upgrades to stalls, tables and kiosks. With pictures from spaces that appear to approve of street vending tacitly, a pattern of upgrades in vending apparatus and kiosks were established. This paper proposes an integrative model of passive, active and tacit support that is required to influence the discourse of vending activities within the context of urban images produced in Nigerian. In conclusion and using sing Gouverneur (2014) concepts of receptors and transformers, this paper revealed that potential existing parks within a dense urban area could serve as transformers, creating an urban image that defies that “out of place” narrative associated with vendors. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019) 3(1), 52-61. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4682 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction This paper set out to investigate the following question; can the “desired” urban image be achieved by allowing street vendors proliferate in public spaces? These questions sprung from the competition different actors exact on the urban interface of varying influence. The different dimension to which these forces – such as “developers”, “landowners”, politicians and administrators and users – shape the environment is compartmentalized, with each having a strong effect in their particular domain (Knox &Ozolins, 2000). On the advice of technical personnel and sometimes towards serving a political goal, politicians/administrators determine the direction of development within the city. Master plans are then produced through a combination of different professionals concerned with the physical, environmental and sociological aspect of the built environment. Urban designers and architects are therefore tasked either by the public or private sectors to come up with schemes that satisfy the initiators’ needs and rarely that of the people/users. At the micro level, architects/builders are contracted to make alterations into the physical environment on plots that reflects the wishes, aspirations and personalities of clients. This is the canonised view of how the built environment gains its image, each actor implicated within the verb of creation. However, the repercussions of each action on the final image of a city are incommensurate. The framework of urban development is skewed towards a close network of administrators and professionals, instead of “making [the] process [open] to as wide a group of interests as possible … [while] identif[ing] who gains and who loses in this process” (McGlynn& Murrain, 1994; pg. 321). Power is implicated through the deployment of ‘epistemic violence’ (Spivak, 1988) in shaping the urban image. The formal process of city building disregards the alternative form of city developmental practices hence subjugating the alternative images produced as a result. It is within this frame of alternatives that street vending lies. Street vending is perceived as producing a distinct urban image when it agglomerates and forms a cluster (Bromley, 2000). To grasp the perceived image produced in such spaces, one needs only to listen to the lexicons used in describing them. Dirty, chaotic, alien, congestion, eyesore are such words that dominate discussions about street vending. It is these dialectic ideas of the city that we ask if they can be resolved within the urban fabric without disparaging the latter. While we do not dispel these characterizations, we argue that it is not an inherent nature of street vending to degenerate the urban landscape, but rather it invests in the physical upgrades of its immediate surrounding. Within the political context of ‘diversification’ (to be defined in section 2.2), we argue that it provides a unique opportunity for moving away from the misinformed characterizations through inclusivity. In what follows, we map the discussion of urban image shaping and street vending. We then investigate the current situation of street vending in Nigeria’s context. The discussion turns to that of political programmes as manifestos and the kind of opportunity they offer in particular to street vending. Finally, our proposals are fitted in the context of ‘Receptor’ and ‘Transformers’ to fit into the emerging literature that seeks to offer alternative forms and city building that seeks transform the urban narrative. 2. Literature Review The idea of desiring a distinct urban image to the level of effecting change suggest intense planning with combined power and ability to do so. In contemporary neo-liberal cities, this description is held within a small group of the capitalist, market forces, politicians and designers. As McGlynn and Murrain (1994; 322) have shown, they are the ones who mostly “can initiate and control development in a very direct way [emphasis ours].” The image produced as a result of their (in)actions is one that seeks to perpetuates their political and economic hegemony within the urban environment. Limits to their interventions are bound by their financial power which is planetary (Brenner, 2013; Brenner and Schmid, 2011). This ranges from within the city such as privatizing public spaces through the development of plazas in exchange for increase buildable floor area (Whyte, 1980). It also to new kind of urban development where marginalized areas are integrated through investments and repurposing, often serving as auxiliary points along service points, not for the needs of the local populace. Dispelling the thought of having a desire for a unified city image, it is worth noting that existing or new enclaves are reshaped and produced to serve a particular end, political or representational. Cities could be identified by their landmarks as an image, though it does not rise to the level of shaping the entire city such as Sydney Opera House conjuring Sydney or as Rockefeller Building might portray New York. However, Shane (2011) has shown that large urban enclaves – China towns or walled cities- can come to represent a city due to their distinct character, with such cities termed ‘fragmented metropolis.’

Perspectives

Economic Diversification and the Urban Image; Changing the Narrative on Street Vending PhD Candidate MUHAMMAD K. BALARABE1, *PhD Candidate ABDULSALAM I. SHEMA2, M.Sc. MARYAM AHMAD3 1Department of Architecture, Kaduna State University. Kaduna state, Nigeria. 2Department of Architecture, Cyprus International University.North Cyprus, Turkey. 3Department of Economics, Kaduna State University. Kaduna state, Nigeria. E mail:muhdkabir@gmail.com E mail:shemadaddy@gmail.com E mail: daso40@gmail.com A B S T R A C T Street vending is a dynamic phenomenon of network of events, socio-economic and cultural factors while remaining a narration of place. At the metropolitan level, the narrative is negatively skewed towards street vending and its aesthetic reality, contemporaneously exploring hostile environmental interventions within the informal sector. This paper attempted to explore a counter-narrative asking; based on aesthetic experience, can the “desired” urban image be achieved by allowing street vendors proliferate in public spaces? This question was asked within the scope of the political-economy of diversification in Nigeria. Mapping over google satellite images over critical periods leading to demolitions and/or developments, this paper documented the spatial distribution of vendors to determine the urban centres that are hostile to vending activities and those that were not. The paper argued that, around public spaces such as parks and sidewalks, the precarious nature of vending activities lead to their diffidence in upgrades to stalls, tables and kiosks. With pictures from spaces that appear to approve of street vending tacitly, a pattern of upgrades in vending apparatus and kiosks were established. This paper proposes an integrative model of passive, active and tacit support that is required to influence the discourse of vending activities within the context of urban images produced in Nigerian. In conclusion and using sing Gouverneur (2014) concepts of receptors and transformers, this paper revealed that potential existing parks within a dense urban area could serve as transformers, creating an urban image that defies that “out of place” narrative associated with vendors. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019) 3(1), 52-61. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4682 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction This paper set out to investigate the following question; can the “desired” urban image be achieved by allowing street vendors proliferate in public spaces? These questions sprung from the competition different actors exact on the urban interface of varying influence. The different dimension to which these forces – such as “developers”, “landowners”, politicians and administrators and users – shape the environment is compartmentalized, with each having a strong effect in their particular domain (Knox &Ozolins, 2000). On the advice of technical personnel and sometimes towards serving a political goal, politicians/administrators determine the direction of development within the city. Master plans are then produced through a combination of different professionals concerned with the physical, environmental and sociological aspect of the built environment. Urban designers and architects are therefore tasked either by the public or private sectors to come up with schemes that satisfy the initiators’ needs and rarely that of the people/users. At the micro level, architects/builders are contracted to make alterations into the physical environment on plots that reflects the wishes, aspirations and personalities of clients. This is the canonised view of how the built environment gains its image, each actor implicated within the verb of creation. However, the repercussions of each action on the final image of a city are incommensurate. The framework of urban development is skewed towards a close network of administrators and professionals, instead of “making [the] process [open] to as wide a group of interests as possible … [while] identif[ing] who gains and who loses in this process” (McGlynn& Murrain, 1994; pg. 321). Power is implicated through the deployment of ‘epistemic violence’ (Spivak, 1988) in shaping the urban image. The formal process of city building disregards the alternative form of city developmental practices hence subjugating the alternative images produced as a result. It is within this frame of alternatives that street vending lies. Street vending is perceived as producing a distinct urban image when it agglomerates and forms a cluster (Bromley, 2000). To grasp the perceived image produced in such spaces, one needs only to listen to the lexicons used in describing them. Dirty, chaotic, alien, congestion, eyesore are such words that dominate discussions about street vending. It is these dialectic ideas of the city that we ask if they can be resolved within the urban fabric without disparaging the latter. While we do not dispel these characterizations, we argue that it is not an inherent nature of street vending to degenerate the urban landscape, but rather it invests in the physical upgrades of its immediate surrounding. Within the political context of ‘diversification’ (to be defined in section 2.2), we argue that it provides a unique opportunity for moving away from the misinformed characterizations through inclusivity. In what follows, we map the discussion of urban image shaping and street vending. We then investigate the current situation of street vending in Nigeria’s context. The discussion turns to that of political programmes as manifestos and the kind of opportunity they offer in particular to street vending. Finally, our proposals are fitted in the context of ‘Receptor’ and ‘Transformers’ to fit into the emerging literature that seeks to offer alternative forms and city building that seeks transform the urban narrative. 2. Literature Review The idea of desiring a distinct urban image to the level of effecting change suggest intense planning with combined power and ability to do so. In contemporary neo-liberal cities, this description is held within a small group of the capitalist, market forces, politicians and designers. As McGlynn and Murrain (1994; 322) have shown, they are the ones who mostly “can initiate and control development in a very direct way [emphasis ours].” The image produced as a result of their (in)actions is one that seeks to perpetuates their political and economic hegemony within the urban environment. Limits to their interventions are bound by their financial power which is planetary (Brenner, 2013; Brenner and Schmid, 2011). This ranges from within the city such as privatizing public spaces through the development of plazas in exchange for increase buildable floor area (Whyte, 1980). It also to new kind of urban development where marginalized areas are integrated through investments and repurposing, often serving as auxiliary points along service points, not for the needs of the local populace. Dispelling the thought of having a desire for a unified city image, it is worth noting that existing or new enclaves are reshaped and produced to serve a particular end, political or representational. Cities could be identified by their landmarks as an image, though it does not rise to the level of shaping the entire city such as Sydney Opera House conjuring Sydney or as Rockefeller Building might portray New York. However, Shane (2011) has shown that large urban enclaves – China towns or walled cities- can come to represent a city due to their distinct character, with such cities termed ‘fragmented metropolis.’

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
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This page is a summary of: The Economic Diversification and the Urban Image; Changing the Narrative on Street Vending, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, June 2018, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.4682.
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