Space wars in Bogotá : the recovery of public space and its impact on street vendors
Author(s)Donovan, Michael G. (Michael Geiger), 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Diane E. Davis.
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This paper addresses the factors underlying the shift of public space management in Bogotá's historic center from one of neglect by presidentially appointed mayors to an aggressive public space recuperation campaign led by Bogotá's elected mayors from 1988 to the present. Faced with the high barriers to public space recovery -- the potential loss of needed political support from vendors, the excessively high cost of recuperation projects, and the power of vendor unions to obstruct their removal -- this thesis holds that three factors enabled the elected Bogotá mayors to recuperate public space. These are: (1) the democratization of the Bogotá Mayor's Office, (2) political and fiscal decentralization, and (3) the political-economic marginalization of traditionally obstructive Bogotá vendor unions. Field work was carried out in metropolitan Bogotá to determine the impact of the public space recuperation on vendors who were relocated by the Mayor's Office of Bogotá. When compared to data from the street, results of the randomized surveys illustrates improvements in working conditions, but lower income and fewer clientele for relocated street vendors. The study similarly documents how more benefits accrued to relocated vendors in markets that specialize in the sale of one product instead of more generalized markets. The conclusion points to the importance of public space recovery for the reinstatement of public order and for downtown economic revitalization. These benefits are described parallel to the disadvantages of the intensification of vendor-government conflict and the large-scale abandonment of costly markets by relocated street vendors.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2002.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 141-152).This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.