A Framework for Enhancing the Spatial Urban Form of Informal Economies in India: The Case of Krishna Rajendra Market, Bangalore
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The International Monetary Fund estimates that the Indian economy contributes over 8% to the global gross domestic product (GDP), making India the fifth largest economy in the world. However, the formal and informal sectors do not contribute equally to the national GDP, with over 80% of this total originating from the informal sector. Street vending, among other informal activities in India, is a vital contributor to the informal economy. Many scholars argue that despite the critical influence of physical urban patterns on the practicability and viability of informal activities, urban planners are not providing adequate urban planning policies. Bangalore, the third largest Indian city by population, is the subject of the present case study. Although this city hosts a wide variety of cultures, economies, and lifestyles, 74% of its population can be categorized as working in the informal sector. The goals of this research study are (a) to explore spatial planning in relation to the urban informal sector in Central Bangalore, (b) to identify the physical urban challenges experienced by the city’s street vendors, and (c) to examine the implications of these challenges for the city’s master plan. Through interviews, surveys, and site analysis (mapping), This study elucidates (a) the challenges experienced by the area’s stakeholders (i.e., vendors and buyers), (b) the limited planning of the spatial urban form by urban planners with regard to the accommodation of informal economic activities, and accordingly, (c) the need to implement spatial planning policies and design regulations appropriate to Bangalore’s high-density marketplace.