sidewalk laboratory

presentation to HCMC

We have been presenting ideas of how Ho Chi Minh City might integrate sidewalk vending and tourism to the Department of Planning and Architecture, The Department of Transportation, and SaigonTourist. These meetings included discussions with local district and ward government officers who directly govern the sidewalks.

Our proposal is to build a physical line into the sidewalk to facilitate a pedestrian experience of the city for tourists, which includes interacting with sidewalk vendors. Given the findings of our tourism research, a pedestrian path could help more tourists navigate one of the most wonderful assets of Ho Chi Minh City, its sidewalk life. Our tourist maps not only connect the usual tourist sites but foster interaction with the living city. Implementation would raise a number of challenging issues such as determining which vendors could service the path and the impact of the route on neighborhoods. But, this strategy builds upon the current neighborhood practice of painting lines on the sidewalk to share the space. Our proposal generated a surprising amount of enthusiasm and we are in the midst of discussing how we might design a pilot project.

Our proposal was officially approved by the city government, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, on May 10, 2011 to implement a pilot project…