Thursday, August 31, 2006

Robbery of Public Space, in the Name of Poverty?

I am quite disturbed by Media Indonesia's editorial today. What's interesting is that I agree with most of the facts and suggestions presented. It's just the tone that bugs me. Consider these phrases (my own translation):
In the name of poverty, informal street vendors/hawkers are free to rob the public of its right to streets.

They have become dictators.
Would I be out of place to guess that Media Indonesia's editors are personal cars users? Hmm.. OK, comments follow:

Why don't you do a little research on the relationship between street vendors and the other party in the "conspiracy", namely state apparatus. See who's the "dictator" now?
It's time to make a rule, for example every mall should provide space for street vendors.
What I heard is: there already is such rule. But many mall developers would rather give money to the government (legally, that is), instead of providing space for the informal sector in their property. It's similar to the 1:3:6 rule for housing developers (for every high-income housing unit built, a developer should develop 3 middle-income units, and 6 low-income units). Many high-income housing developers would also rather give money to the government rather than build middle and low-income housing themselves. But do we see enough economic space and life space for the poor in the city? So, in whose hands does the problem lie in now?

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  1. yeah, the tone
    PKL... love them hate them :)

  2. Hi Nien,
    Nice to meet another urban enthusiast. Thanks for the urban dictionary link! Love it.