Pacific Geographies (Feb 2022)
Street vending - a perpetual hustle: How street vendors in Hanoi’s Walking Street negotiate their existence
Street vendors make up an important part of the Vietnamese informal economy and carry a trait of the country’s urban DNA. However, they have long been the target of many regulations to create a modern and civilized city of Hanoi. By revisiting the discourse about formality and informality, private and public space, this paper discusses how street vendors negotiate their existence in Hanoi’s public space. With a case study at the Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street in Hanoi, the findings shifted the focus of previous works from the discussion about what is informal and what is not, to how informality expands itself economically, socially, and politically in an urban environment. In addition, the public perception of street vending was considered to provide a comprehensive understanding of the situation. This research also dedicates a part of it to shed a light on the informal sector during the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.