Use and Appropriation of Urban Public Space for Street Vending in Kathmandu


  • Barsha Shrestha Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Sudha Shrestha Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Sanjaya Uprety Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal.


Street Vending, Street Vendors, Urban Public Space, Spatial Use


Street vending is a survival strategy for many urban poor with limited education and job skills to access formal job market. Street vendors not only contribute to economic activity and service provision but also add vitality to the street scape. They use public spaces such as sidewalks and junctions which are often the sites of conflict between the street vendors, pedestrian and vehicular traffic. In Nepalese context, despite several studies carried on street vending for its economic aspect, spatial dimension of street vending has not been given much attention. In this context, this research aims to examine how vendors of Kathmandu use and appropriate the public space for street vending. Using both quantitative and qualitative research approach, 150 vendor respondents were selected in addition to pedestrians (30), shopkeepers (20) and municipal officials (10). Direct observation of the use and appropriation of public space was made in three different case areas namely New Baneshwor, Ratnapark and Sundhara. Findings from the research showed that street vendors strategically locate themselves in the areas with a high volume of pedestrians. The research also revealed that street vendors maintain their line of occupation and manage their scarce vending space by the informal system without support from any organizations. The research concludes that the use and choice of location is determined by the flow of people, types of goods sold where as the urban public spaces are appropriated through complex negotiation process among themselves through the system of first possession, the shopkeepers and sometimes informally with public authorities.

How to cite this article: Shrestha B, Shrestha S, Uprety S. Use and Appropriation of Urban Public Space for Street Vending in Kathmandu. J Adv Res Civil Envi Engr 2019; 6(3&4): 10-17.


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