Understanding a Specific Walkable Space via the Phenomenon of Chinese Street Vending: An actor-network theory analysis


  • Ziwen Sun Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Simon Bell Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Iain Scott




Street vendors, Walkable spaces, Actor-network theory, Specificity


In contemporary Chinese cities, the pervasive phenomenon of street vending often emerges in a predictable space where numerous people frequently walk or stay. Using actor-network theory as a conceptual tool, this study initially elaborates a set of physical and social processes of configuration regarding Chinese street vending in walkable spaces. The network analysis involves heterogeneous actors and multiple associations regarding two groups of people, livelihoods and demands, mobile amenities, dietary habits, urban micro-economy, and collective participation. The results illustrate additional knowledge to why walkability, and how a specific walkable space is configured in the Chinese context.

Keywords: Street vendors; Walkable spaces; Actor-network theory; Specificity.

eISSN 2398-4295 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/ajbes.v3i13.156


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How to Cite

Sun, Z., Bell, S., & Scott, I. (2018). Understanding a Specific Walkable Space via the Phenomenon of Chinese Street Vending: An actor-network theory analysis. Asian Journal of Behavioural Studies, 3(13), 190–200. https://doi.org/10.21834/ajbes.v3i13.156