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The Mixed-Use Sidewalk


  • Annette Kim


Problem, research strategy, and findings: Around the globe, streets and sidewalks in cities are being contested as spaces that should be used for more than transportation. This article challenges our understanding of both property rights and public space by applying a property rights framework to situate sidewalk use debates. It analyzes and maps the sidewalk property regimes of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, through a novel integration of surveying and ethnography. The case illuminates the feasibility of a mixed-use sidewalk that can be shared between various kinds of uses and users. A mixed-use sidewalk that is both cooperative and livable is possible if planners incorporate time into planning space in order to expand the sidewalk's flexibility and if local society can renarrate and enforce new legitimacies on the sidewalk. Takeaway for practice: Sidewalk space deserves more attention as an important public space. In our era of historic urbanization, we should reconceive sidewalks as a mixed-use space rather than an exclusively pedestrian zone. Moreover, North American planners would benefit from engaging with public space experiments happening in cities in the developing world. Research support: This research was supported by MIT's School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Suggested Citation

  • Annette Kim, 2012. "The Mixed-Use Sidewalk," Journal of the American Planning Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 78(3), pages 225-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjpaxx:v:78:y:2012:i:3:p:225-238
    DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2012.715504

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    Cited by:

    1. Zamora, Paula & Mantilla, César & Blanco, Mariana, 2021. "Price discrimination in informal labor markets in Bogotá: an audit experiment during the 2018 FIFA World Cup," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 55, pages 1-6.
    2. Haoying Han & Thuy Van T. Nguyen & Noman Sahito, 2019. "Sidewalk Zoom-In: A Spatial–Temporal Negotiation and Self-Organization within a Sociable Space," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(22), pages 1-15, November.

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