Author: Emma Goodwin

Unfolding the Hives: Urban Spatialities of Cape Town’s Informal Street Trading Network

Studio: MArch Thesis

Advisor: Natalia Escobar Castrillón and Ozayr Saloojee

Year: 2020-2021

Project Description

Throughout the history of Cape Town, informal street trading has remained a form of resistance. This activity became a popular livelihood for many black and coloured South Africans who, following apartheid legislation, were displaced into the periphery, segregated and denied equal opportunities. Many of the tactics enforced by local governments to regulate the street traders reflected the bigger racial and socio-political issues of the segregation and apartheid eras. Acts of perseverance and finding agency through trading have evolved over generations and continue to contribute significantly to the urban landscape and the perception of the city. By revealing layers of the existing network, this thesis highlights choreographies of space through the addition of dynamic structures that support the daily habits of the street traders. Unfolding the Hives explores how sustaining the street traders’ micro-culture and addressing neglected spatialities is fundamental to blurring the lines that keep Cape Town divided.