New York City

2_PowerRelations+Portuguese

 

This is a map of power dynamics that elucidates the various informal and formal transactions that take place between Agents of Public Space (APS) and the city around them. That is, while some aspects of APS’ work is reliant on informal transactions like negotiating with local businesses to use their bathrooms, much of APS’ day-to-day existence is heavily regulated by various state, city and private actors. For example, the city issues permits for food carts that require annual renewals and regular inspections. However, the number of permits has been arbitrarily capped and the waitlist to attain one can last for decades. Consequentially, permits are being sold in the black market for than ten times their original value.

Additionally, the laws concerning where an APS may or may not work varies block by block, by time of day and by what is being sold. So overly complicated, the enforcers of these rules are themselves unclear on their exact definitions, thus creating a gray area of legality. APS therefore exist within complex and nuanced urban systems in which their formality is constantly being negotiated.

 

O mapa das dinâmicas de poder apresenta uma diversidade de relações formais e informais entre os agentes do espaço público (AEP) e a cidade que os circundam. Isto é, enquanto algumas das atividades estão relacionadas a informalidade, como acordos entres os comerciantes locais para uso do banheiro de seus estabelecimentos, a maior parte delas é altamente regulada por atores do setor público e privado. Como exemplo as permissões para venda de comida na rua que pedem renovações anuais e inspeções regulares. No entanto, o número máximo de permissões está congelado e foi estabelecido arbitrariamente. Uma pessoa pode levar décadas na lista de espera para conseguir uma. Consequentemente as permissões vem sendo vendidas no mercado negro por dez vezes o seu preço original.

Além disso, as leis que regulam o local onde os AEPs devem ou não trabalhar variam de quadra a quadra, hora do dia, dia da semana e o que é vendido. Ou seja, são muito complicadas.  Faz-se muito difícil  a execução dessas regras em sua definição exata, criando assim uma área cinza na legalidade.  AEPs, portanto, existem dentro de um complexo sistema urbano, cheio de nuanças, onde sua formalidade é constantemente negociada.

suppliers and licensed storage garage

Map 1: Compilation of some of the suppliers and licensed storage garages and commissaries in New York City and the greater regional area.
Mapa 1: Compilação de alguns dos fornecedores e garagens licenciadas em Nova York.

 

Along side the need for a critical understanding of the power dynamics APS are situated within, we found it important to consider the role of the city as a resource. To begin this analysis, we built a map of facilities (both required and auxiliary) used by vendors, buskers, and other agents of public space across the wider New York City region. While storage and supply facilities are present across all five city boroughs, as well as many in north New Jersey, they are condensed within particular neighborhoods and access often comes along with ambiguous, unwritten rules. An example of this, cited by a Brooklyn food cart vendor, is differing storage rates depending on whether the vendor also procures goods from the same business.

By overlapping lived-experience and personal knowledge with the spatial distribution of these city resources, we can begin to uncover the structure of the wider system with which APS must necessarily engage. And in doing so, in a similar approach to analyzing the power map (seen above), we are able to identify potentialities or opportunities for intervention within this same system.

 

 

 

 

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