Street Vending in Phnom Penh

Flourishing but Invisible

Authored by: Kyoko Kusakabe

The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138831186
eBook ISBN: 9781315736709
Adobe ISBN: 9781317567837


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Street vending exists all around the world and yet urban residents and city officials often view street vendors as a nuisance. Hence, they are usually ignored in urban planning processes. Street vending offers an important source of income for the urban poor. It requires little initial investment and hence entry is easy in comparison with other occupations in the city. Being a street vendor also does not require any formal qualification and women migrants with little or no education find it easy to start up. Street vending is not only an important income-generating option for the urban poor, it also offers affordable goods to busy urban residents close to their place of work or residence. As Nyanin (2013) pointed out, including street vendors’ voices in urban governance will help cities to develop multi-functional spaces. Market vending and street vending have unique characteristics in Cambodia because of its particular history. This chapter introduces the history and characteristics of market vendors and street vendors, with a focus on Phnom Penh.

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