urban informality

Weekly Kyunghyang cover story asks, “Is it impossible to co-exist with street vendors?”

A matter of law enforcement or livelihood struggles of the urban poor? Winter is high season for street vending and urban crackdown as can be seen in the recent violence against street vendors in Gangnam district of Seoul. With hundreds of city-hired security contractors (a.k.a. “thugs”) recorded on video overturning carts and destroying vendor property, it’s also high time to consider the urgent questions of informal economy, urban poverty, and state violence. Are legalization and taxation the obvious solution? It’s not such a simple matter, the article argues. For one, there is an enormous range among street vendors, from corporate to livelihood-based, income levels, and vending forms…… more