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Sidewalk CityRemapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City$
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Annette Miae Kim

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226119229

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226119366.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Seen and Unseen

Seen and Unseen

Ho Chi Minh City’s Sidewalk Life

(p.1) (p.2) 1 Seen and Unseen
Sidewalk City

Annette Miae Kim

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s sidewalk life as an exemplar case in the midst of the current global foment where governments and people are searching for new ways to use and govern this important public space. This chapter outlines fundamental epistemological problems that have been hindering our exploration of this terrain of opportunity and conflict: old boundaries between social science, physical space, and urban design disciplines and conceptual dichotomies such as public/private and formal/informal fail to address the conditions of rapid immigration and urbanization while often introducing perilous urban planning interventions. The basis for the rest of the book, the chapter overviews an alternative theoretical framework for understanding public space that integrates both its physicality and social structure: a) a spatialized ethnography is needed to uncover overlooked urban populations and actual, situated spatial practices rather than assumed ones, b) a rehabilitated property rights theory which views public space in terms of socially negotiated and enforced entitlements and liabilities between property owners, police, street vendors, and the general public and c) a critical cartography that maps new knowledge about urban space.

Keywords:   public space, maps, critical cartography, Vietnam, spatial ethnography, property rights, urban design, urban planning, sidewalk, street vendors

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