Valuing a repurposable space


This sidewalk-based key & lock guy repurposes his space by hanging keys, doorknobs, and other trade items from the window behind him (along with his sign, claiming he fixes any and all kinds of locks and also repairs, buys, and sells safes). Consider how the space for an informal sidewalk-based business is valued, and the factors that affect that space’s value. Like other, more formal businesses across the world, such space is partially judged by more widely recognized metrics such as visibility to pedestrians, amount of usable space available, and so on.


However, there are a few context-specific metrics that sidewalk-based entrepreneurs in Yangon must also consider. One of these factors is access to a building with reliable electricity that would be willing to sneak a wire out (that this vendor has a generator indicates that either a) the building owner is unwilling, or b) the electricity supply is not reliable enough). Another is the presence of means to hang a rain tarp (if there is not pre-existing overhang or rain shelter built into the adjacent building). Yet another is whether a vendor can securely store the elements that make up their business (table, chairs, tarp, generator, merchandise, etc.) to minimize the amount they must physically carry with them from their homes to their place of business. After all, it’d be a bit tricky to carry one’s collection of safes around on a daily basis.

What are the comparable requirements for sidewalk-based vendors in your local context (if they exist)?

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