Night Market as Conceived-Planned Space: The Case of Davao City, Philippines

Raymundo R. Pavo

Abstract

This paper explores and tackles the meaning and issues of Roxas Night Market in Davao City as conceived space. Guided by Henri Lefebvre’s notion of space as conceived, which refers to the perspective of planners, designers, or engineers, the night market in Davao City is described as space created by the Local Government Unit (LGU) and regulated by rules that it has set. Recognizing that this notion of space impinges upon the life of the street vendors, the LGU’s account of the issues that beset the area as rules are applied and decisions are imposed is also identified and looked into. Consequently, such issues interface with the other two notions of space of Lefebvre as lived and practiced. More to the point, space as lived stands for the meanings that vendors attach to their experiences as they reflect on their past and imagine their future, and space as practiced pertains to the vendors’ day-to-day experiences as they subsist in their vending sites. Using case study as research design, the night market through Lefebvre’s space as conceived can be interpreted as the LGU’s economic rationalization of space use in the context of the changing needs of the city and the uses of its public space. Corollary to this, it is also in response to the increasing number of street vendors in the city center, a way of framing vendors as symbols of resilience against terrorism after the bombing incident in 2016, and as an expression of the uncertainty and limits of its plans as the LGU grapples with its responsibility to decide on the future of street vendors and the night market in the city.

Keywords

informal street vending; production of space; resilience; local narratives; inclusivity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03503