Informal in Formal - Street Vending in Neighbourhood Markets of Chandigarh
Streets in our cities are representative of our lifestyle and culture. Their designs need to respond to the distinct activities and functions that they perform. Street markets are an integral part of the local economy as well as exhibit the image of the city and its habitats. They are the community’s ‘open-air living rooms’ which contribute to the city’s economic growth, are spaces for uninterrupted social and cultural public interaction. However, concepts of the market street in planned cities are more focused on the physical and visual aspects of public space, and activity patterns regulated by the designer’s vision of ideal user behavior. Time, on the other hand, has shown that most of such planned spaces have performed differently, metamorphosing in response to market forces and users’ predilections, thus highlighting the inherent need for inclusiveness in urban design.
Chandigarh, India’s iconic planned city is no exception. While most elements of the original plan had proved to be fairing quite well, one of the first ones to defy and demolish the planners’ perceptions was the ‘Neighbourhood Market’. The cumulative effect of several ‘unplanned’ activities, societal and technological advancements has transformed each of the markets in distinctive manners.
Taking the particular case of ‘Sector 15’, the objective was to understand the nature and causes of street vending in planned neighbourhood markets of Chandigarh, particularly its implications.
Keywords: Street Vending, Chandigarh Market, neighbourhood market