A Conceptual Model for Planning and Designing Healthy Urban Landscapes in the Third World: A Study of Street Vendors in the Philippines

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Typical urban street landscapes in the third world are dotted with tiny businesses. Street vendors, who are predominantly women, belong to a sector called the 'informal economy'. Unregistered and unregulated, these informal businesses are owned by poor, marginalised groups who depend on them as alternative sources of income for basic survival. In the Philippines, the informal sector constitutes 50 percent of the country's Gross National Product (GNP) (Enste and Schneider, 1998).This paper examines the impact of urban environmental features and economic status on the health conditions of the vendors. The outcome is a model process involving participation of vendors in the development of planning and design solutions. A survey of 187 vendors in Baguio City in the Philippines was conducted in December 2003. Baguio City is a northern upland regional centre with a population of about 250,000. Located 5,000 feet above sea level, the city's climate is temperate with an average of 70-75 Fahrenheit (20-25 Celsius) throughout the year. From June to October, the city receives the heaviest rainfall in the entire country.

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