PETTY TRADING IN MARKETPLACES: Space Generation, Use and Management at Temeke Stereo Marketplace in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Abstract: Petty trading is a prevailing socioeconomic activity serving a multitude of the low-income population in rapidly urbanising developing countries. Petty trading marketplaces thus, have an important role to play in urban development processes. However, knowledge on the spatial processes connected to generating and sustaining petty trading in the marketplaces is limited. Hence, this study aims at exploring processes of generation, use and management of petty trading spaces in order to establish preconditions for adequate spatial provision of petty trading marketplaces in the Tanzanian context. In this study, an understanding of evolution of marketplaces in the global perspective sets premises for conceptualising the marketplaces in Dar es Salaam, using the Institutional Theory and Social Capital Theory to illuminate the empirical findings. The case study research strategy is adopted whereby the Temeke Stereo Marketplace in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is selected through a purposeful sampling. The findings of the study show that petty trading spaces are produced and reproduced in response to conceptions, actions and reactions of varying actors within prevailing social and institutional structures. Social norms and regulatory mechanisms coupled with traders’ hidden knowledge and skills are decisive factors in the fluid spatial reality in the marketplace. This phenomenon challenges the conventional practice in architecture and planning with regard to petty trading marketplaces. A combination of disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches in developing adequate environments for petty trading is thus proposed.
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