Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Settlement of Street Vendors in Public Spaces of Urban Pakistan

Date : November 09, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Moderator: Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Vice Chancellor PIDE)
Speaker : Mr. Arif Hasan: A famous Architect, Planner, Activist, Teacher, Social Researcher & Writer Chairperson of Urban Resource Center & Orangi Pilot Project

Life of street vendors have never been easy in Pakistan, but indeed in most of the jurisdictions across the world, especially in developing countries. Despised by the state and society elite, street vendors are constrained to operate in a continuous environment of fear and uncertainty on account of eviction. Any judicial and administrative relief are far and few and have usually proved to be short-lived for street vendors. Buoyed by the elite support and prevalent prejudice against street vendors, any administrative move, for the removal of street vendors from the public space, has relatively remained a smooth affair. Persistent repression has created its own survival dynamics among the street vendor community. They have worked out their space in the ecosystem through bribery to city administration and often with collective action of protest or buying-in of local power brokers. Its sustenance depends upon the resilience of their negotiation skill in an unequal power equation with city regulators. Question of the day remains about the modus operandi of settling or unsettling of street vendors in public spaces of urban Pakistan.