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Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social JusticeFrom Loncheras to Lobsta Love$
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Julian Agyeman, Caitlin Matthews, and Hannah Sobel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036573

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036573.001.0001

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From Hippie to Hip: City Governance and Two Eras of Street Vending in Vancouver, Canada

From Hippie to Hip: City Governance and Two Eras of Street Vending in Vancouver, Canada

(p.129) 7 From Hippie to Hip: City Governance and Two Eras of Street Vending in Vancouver, Canada
Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice

Amy Hanser

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the contrast between street vending and city regulatory responses in Vancouver, Canada during two time periods—the 1970s and the 2010s. The comparison of “hippy” vending in the 1970s and “hip” food carts and trucks four decades later illustrates the contradictory impulses that shape regulation of commercial activity on city streets. First, there is a process of “formalization” that seeks to tame the informality and messiness of street vending through new rules, standards and regulations. But by the 2010s, a second, contradictory, impulse appears: an embrace of informality reflecting new ideas about “vital” city streets and identifying street vending, in the form of food trucks and carts, as “hip.” But the apparent embrace of the informal has unfolded through highly formalized procedures, and the vitality associated with vending in Vancouver is acceptable precisely because it has been (re)introduced in a highly formalized, regulated form.

Keywords:   Food trucks, street vending, urban regulation, city governance, informality

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