Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (4): 618-632.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201704005

• Urbanization Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution of street vending and its spatial relationship with formal commerce: Quantitative research using distance-based methods

Yanji ZHANG1(), Lei ZHANG2(), Lingyan WU3   

  1. 1. Department of Urban and Rural Planning, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China
    2. Department of Urban Planning and Management, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
    3. Fujian Urban and Rural Planning Design Institute, Fuzhou 350003, China
  • Received:2016-01-08 Revised:2017-02-12 Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-05-09
  • Supported by:
    The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, and the Research Funds of Renmin University of China, No.2016030072


Although informal economy has become important urban landscape in contemporary China, there are fewer quantitative studies on its spatial structure from the perspective of macroscopic scale. Therefore, the feasibility and necessity of vending zones are still full of controversy. To fill in this research gap, the thesis used point data of street vendors and formal commerce in 2010, which respectively came from digital urban municipal management system and industrial and commercial bureau registration system of Chaoyang District in Beijing. Via DO Index and M Function, this research mainly probed into the spatial structure of street vending and its spatial relationship with formal commerce separately. According to empirical analysis, firstly, this paper found that most vending types and their occupied areas presented a pattern of significant agglomeration. Furthermore, the vending type which had close relationship with residents' demand showed less agglomeration degree. Secondly, compared with the spatial structure of formal commerce, street vending agglomerated more intensely in a tiny scale. Concretely, street vendors, as a whole, reached the peak extent of agglomeration at only approximately 250 to 300 meters. However, the extent of their agglomeration declined dramatically when spatial scale magnified. Thirdly, street vending and formal commerce which provided similar commodity or service had not shown significant co-located spatial relationship, but there existed evident co-dispersion with each other. What's more, the extent of co-dispersion would be stronger in a smaller spatial scale. In conclusion, although street vending presented strong mobility, it had a stable spatial pattern. Thus this research demonstrated the feasibility and necessity of setting inclusive vending zones, and proposed elementary policy suggestion of its principle and types. For example, the government could introduce flexible and fixed vending zones in order to satisfy different demands of various vendors. Furthermore, the area need not be enlarged and would give preference to the area with limited formal commerce supply.

Key words: informal economy, street vending, spatial distribution, DO index, M function