Food vendors comprise a significant component of the urban informal economy in Kingston, Jamaica and occupy a critical space in urban culture and socio-scape. Despite their visibility in these spheres, they have often been overlooked by policy and academic discourse and placed in precarious circumstances by regulatory frameworks which often exacerbate already marginal circumstances. Using a combination of questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews and discursive analysis of media representations, this research presents insights into the experiences of challenge and resistance amongst the community of small scale food vendors operating in Kingston. Accordingly, it explores emerging challenges in the face of state and societal impositions and examines the potential for leveraging existing operational strengths. The results indicate that road expansions, public health policies, precarious spatial planning practices effectively place food vendors in a vulnerable position. These stresses are compounded by state level data deficiencies which intensify the challenge of effective governance. Addressing these challenges may therefore represent a necessary precursor to greater levels of inclusion and, by extension, more sustainable urban development.
About the speaker
Dr. Kinlocke is an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. His research interests include urban food systems, social capital, fear, and residential boundaries in the Kingston Metropolitan Area. Dr. Kinlocke is a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholar with the Hungry Cities Partnership at Wilfrid Laurier University and based at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.