Negotiating Territory: Strategies of Informal Transport Operators to Access Public Space in Urban Africa and Latin America

Informal transport receives increased attention to improve mobility conditions mainly in cities in the global south. This article explores strategies by which informal transport operators seek to gain and maintain access to urban space necessary for their operation and discusses the lessons for policy related to informal services. It focuses on two cases of urban informal transport: bicycle rickshaw drivers in Bogotá, Colombia and motorcycle taxis in N’Djamena, Tschad. The results show that the kind and type of public space as well as the individual and collective responses to secure access to this public space differ between the two cases. To some extent this is attributed to the role and presence of actors from the ‘local state’. Access to public space in Bogotá is the result of negotiation and ‘co-regulation’ by the associations of operators and government organizations, accompanied by a process of professionalization of informal operators. This is not the case in N’Djamena, where the use of public space is largely the result of self-regulation by the federations of motortaxi drivers.


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  • Accession Number: 01639544
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2017 2:39PM