STREET VENDORS PERCEPTION OF THE EFFECTS OF THEIR ACTIVITIES ON ENUGU URBAN MORPHOLOGY
Keywords:Economy, Street trading, Urban Community, Urban Mobility
This study examined the activities of street vendors operating within the informal economy in Enugu City with regard to its effects on the economy, human relations, environment and resulting government responses. A total of thirteen street vendors were purposively selected for in-depth interviews and non-participant observation. Variables of interest were vendors' perceptions of contributions to urban mobility, community relations and economic dynamics. The analysis was done using content analysis. Findings show that street vendors play pivotal roles in community relations. It was also found that street vendors offer convenient and accessible services, saving residents’ time, convenience of shopping in transit and saving foregone transport money. In terms of the dynamics within the informal economy, it was discovered that some vendors adapt innovative pricing strategies to offer affordability. Based on these findings, it is concluded that street vendors make multifaceted contributions to Enugu's urban economy, cityscape and positive community living. It is therefore recommended that rather see them as a nuisance, urban policymakers and planners have to recognize the significance of street vendors and the informal economy generally in shaping the city's social fabric, mobility patterns, and economic landscape as they strive to create resilient, inclusive urban environments as enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal number 11.
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