ABSTRACT

The controversial use of public spaces by street vendors hides sharp geometries that are far from chaotic. These geometries are designed by urban, social, economic, and institutional affairs.

A clandestine inhabitant or street vendor that lives without legal land permission, that is, land ownership or a street vending permit, creates business, spatial and institutional strategies. Spatially speaking, this depends on links to urban activities and transport systems. Besides, other strategies also provide some kind of stability through state or business subordination. Some of them-for example, connection with mass consumption and public transportation-are obvious. Others like patronage and corruption, however, are a misrepresentation of what we understand as democratic access of public assets.