The Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) in collaboration with Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) will be implementing a 12-month project aimed at gaining greater buy-in from local government for inclusive city planning and designing.
BVTA executive director Michael Ndiweni told CITE that they will be partnering with university architecture students to come up with workable and efficient plans to design market stalls that are favourable and convenient for vendors.
“We are going to be working closely with students who took part in our 2018 City Design competition where they produced competitive prototypes that we are building upon,” said Ndiweni.
“The initiative shall also convene key stakeholders in the informal economy ecosystem, including informal traders, the private sector and local government, to produce four alternative inclusive prototype market designs, which are co-created solutions.”
Ndiweni added that the market designs would help bring order and revamp the city of Bulawayo.
“It is anticipated that the project shall result in the development of four inclusive city design prototypes that include the aspirations of informal traders.
“It should also facilitate improved understanding by local authorities of inclusive city planning and designing and the role of informal economy, strengthen local authorities capacity to make city planning and design strategies more inclusive, where possible involving informal economy players.”
He said that his organisation is set to engage with local authorities to ensure that the plans are approved and implemented.
“Ultimately, the Local authorities are expected to commit to adopting one or more of the prototype designs in the project.”
Ndiweni also implored the government to embrace the formalisation of the informal economy through the introduction of prototype designs and plans.
In the long run, Ndiweni said that the project is envisaged to increase the understanding of city planning and designing among Informal sector operators.
“This project will help women and youth who constitute the majority of informal sector traders and enhance their participation in the process.”
Ndiweni called on informal traders and vendors to participate in designing market stalls that will be favourable and convenient for their businesses.