Management and Spatial Planning of Street Vendors: Improving street market space in Downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Authors: O'Neil Miller*, University of Tsukuba, Sayaka Fujii, University of Tsukuba
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Land Use, Development
Keywords: Street market, street vendor, street space, area management, local governance, public space
Session Type: Lightning Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Washington 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Street markets are essential parts of the cityscape. For centuries, street markets have been public places where people gather, entertain and are entertained, exchange ideas, and buy or sell goods and services (Tangires 2003; Polanyi, Arensberg, and Pearson 1957). Particularly in Downtown Kingston, Jamaica, the importance of markets can be traced back to the 17th century. Markets in Jamaica grew out of a system during slavery, whereby slaves were expected to help feed themselves by growing their own produce. Today the market business is much more complex and diversified than in the past, and there are numerous types of higglers involved in marketing such as the “street” vendor who emerged on the market scene in the 1970’s (Webb, 1994). Currently there are thirteen enclosed markets in the Market District (two of which are currently not operational) in Downtown Kingston, with approximately 8,652 vendors within the district. However, the current approaches to market services has left many of them in a horrible state. These conditions have contributed to the underuse of the markets and the exodus of vendors to the streets creating chaotic conditions for vehicular and pedestrian traffic (Webb, 1994). This research focuses on determining how to improve the street market space in Downtown Kingston’s Market District through assessing the management and spatial planning of street vendors.

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