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Street vending management in Bangkok: the need to adapt to a changing environment


This research paper proposes that the administration of street vending in Bangkok is consistent but not compatible with changes in the economic and social situation in Thailand as well as the growth of street vending around the world as well as increasing appreciation of its important role. To support this argument, the paper presents the policy measures on street vending since the founding of Bangkok in 1973, the paradigm shift in employment since the Asian Economic Crisis in 1997, and empirical data from a study of street vending in four districts in Bangkok in 2016. The study collected data from street vendors and buyers in Bangrak, Pathumwan, Phranakhon and Samphanthawong. The sample size of the vendors in each district was 100 and participants were selected through random sampling. A sample of 50 buyers in each district was selected through convenience sampling. From the documentary study and the field data, the paper recommends that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should realign the administration of street vending in accordance with dynamics of the economic and social situation and international trends.

Pages:15 to 32
Section: Space
How to Cite
Nirathron, N. and Yasmeen, G. (2019) “Street vending management in Bangkok: the need to adapt to a changing environment”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(1), pp. 15-32. doi:

Author Biographies

Dr. Nirathron is Associate Professor in Labour Welfare and Development, Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University in Bangkok. She earned a Ph.D. in Integrated Sciences. Her research focuses on poverty reduction, workers in the informal economy, particularly street vendors and homeworkers and decent work. She is currently working on a research about informal workers and preparation for active ageing.

University of British Columbia
Canada Canada

Gisèle is currently Senior Fellow at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Institute of Asian Research in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. She is also Adjunct Professor at the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University and consultant to the World Bank. She is a former Canadian federal government executive, having served seven years as Vice-President of Research and Partnerships at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, among other positions, and has also advised numerous Canadian and international clients - including multilateral agencies - and has served on four boards of directors. She currently sits on the board of Crossroads International. Author of Bangkok's Foodscape (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2006) and editor of Feeding Asian Cities / Nourrir les villes d'asie (Rome: FAO 2001), Gisèle has published widely in scholarly and other types of publications and provides regular media commentary in both English and French. She has various levels of fluency in three Asian languages and speaks intermediate Spanish. She has a Ph.D. from UBC, a master's from McGill University and a B.A. Honours from University of Ottawa. 


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