Mobility nodes and economic spaces: Links, tensions and planning implications
Keywords:Transport issues, land use, informal livelihoods, global South cities
While transport hubs function largely as mobility interchanges, they also serve as spaces of conflict and negotiation, particularly when informal livelihoods of poor populations take place in public spaces like streets and transport terminals. This condition poses challenges to urban planners and transport officials on how to promote inclusive cities without sacrificing urban mobility. We examine how informal trading has become embedded in the land-use patterns of Baclaran, a strategic transport hub in Metro Manila. Three factors emerge as critical in understanding how and why informal trading thrives in Baclaran: a) the presence of commuters as captive market; b) mixed land use and activity agglomeration; and c) multi-layered socio-spatial relations. Our empirical data also shows how normalized informal trading in a mobility node has triggered transport route diversion and supported the growth of small-scale informal transport.
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