Managing Street Vendors: Solo, Indonesia, Proves an Inspiration to Pakkret, Thailand

Managing Street Vendors: Solo, Indonesia, Proves an Inspiration to Pakkret, Thailand


12 – 17 July 2011. Pakkret Municipality was delighted to find a best practice, which was addressing precisely the situation they faced at home: trying to revitalize a traditional market. It was with great excitement, therefore, that a delegation from the city prepared to travel to Solo to gain an insight into the practical aspects of managing such a scheme.

The six members – local officials, coaches and DELGOSEA staff – were bowled over by the friendliness and helpfulness of their Indonesian hosts who were determined to show them all aspects of the project and make them feel at home in the city. Apart from meetings with a number of council officials, including the mayor of Solo, Joko Widodo, whose personal commitment to the project was a decisive factor for its success, the participants visited various markets as well as the locations where previously street vendors had congregated. The delegation was not only impressed by how clean and well-organized the markets were, but also by the sheer number of traders and market officials who took the time to talk to them and answer their numerous questions. The participants felt that the practical experiences and various tips on street market arrangements and revitalization of traditional markets were invaluable for their own attempts to introduce such reforms in Thailand.

The delegation agreed that quite a few changes still needed to be made to their own plans after having seen the project in action – helpful tips included how to take cultural sensitivities into account and how to develop a good PR strategy to get local people on board. A bottom-up approach had clearly worked very well in Solo and the officials from Pakkret were keen to learn from this for their own city. The replication is due to start in earnest in November, which leaves enough time to make necessary adjustments to the project matrix.