‘Street trade in an urban informal economy: A visual and spatial perspective’

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December 11, 2013
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Institute of Development Studies
Library Road, Brighton, BN1 9RE

As part of the IDS Members Seminar series, the Participate Initiative will be hosting one of its network partners, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation director Andrew Charman, to talk about ‘Street trade in an urban informal economy: A visual and spatial perspective’. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The seminar will provide an overview of a ‘socio-spatial’ research project on street trade in Ivory Park to understand the relationship between people and space in this context. Ivory Park is a township on the periphery of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. The seminar will reflect on the significance of the street as both a shared and contested space, central to the livelihoods of poor urban dwellers in creating income streams and building a sense of belonging within the city. The research comprises three layers: first, a small area census and survey of all business activities; second, an analysis of the space of the street, illustrating the market dynamics, emergence and organising principles; third, a participatory Photovoice component through which street photographers have taken photographs of street life and explored the meaning within the photographs means through public dialogue (PDF). The case study provides an insight into the short-comings of policies which restrict street trade and disallow informality.

Andrew Charman studied at the University of Cape Town and Cambridge. He has worked as a researcher, academic and development practitioner. Andrew is a director of the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, a NGO based in Cape Town. His current research investigates the informal economy, seeking to comprehend its scope and scale, as well as the micro-enterprise dynamics and socio-political context in which business is conducted.

Everyone is welcome to attend.