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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Youth Homelessness
  • Volume 20, Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Street Vending in the United States: A Unique Dataset from a Survey of Street Vendors in America’s Largest Cities

Dick M. Carpenter II
Institute for Justice and University of Colorado

The data described in this article come from an original survey of street vendors in the 50 largest cities in the United States. One of the most persistent, although little understood, features of the urban American environment, street vending is defined as “the retail or wholesale trading of goods and services in streets and other related public axes such as alleyways, avenues and boulevards” (Bromley, 2000: 1). Some vending occurs in a fixed location, whereas other vending is mobile and makes use of carts, tricycles, or motor vehicles. Vending may be practiced full time, part time, seasonally, or occasionally by businesses ranging from one-person micro-enterprises through numerous forms of partnerships, family businesses, franchisees, pieceworkers, and wageworkers of brick-and-mortar firms (Bromley, 2000).

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