Enhancing The Quality Of Open Markets (Gebeya) Through Urban Design Interventions

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Addis Ababa university


Open markets have been and are still seen to exist as a common feature around the areas of Addis Ababa. They are huge sources of income for the urban poor as a space for social interaction and economic development, too. Though these markets are common scenes in the city, the level of improvement that is seen on such places is very small. Instead, they are replaced with contemporary multistory shopping buildings by leaving the poor without generating a significant income. The qualities that these markets inherit are the reasons why they are still considered as common features along with the recent local development processes and contemporary planning that have been implemented in Addis Ababa. Markets need to be further enhanced and developed in such a way that they can simultaneously support both the traders and the community too. The study is a design based research that is investigated through the analysis of a case study and based on which, analytical generalizations of an open traditional market in the city is made. The investigation is carried out from the point of view of spatial, economical and social aspects of the markets. It also attempts to show the issue of taxation and its influence on the informality of these markets. The study found, in this aspect, physical enhancements such as proper physical planning, infrastructure and services. Such interventions can improve the working condition of the markets. Improving the physical condition together with increasing the level of comfort can create a better working condition for traders and a better market place for consumers simultaneously. Along with this, social and economic enhancements can be done through training to let traders achieve a better skill of working and managing the open markets. The research has identified the spatial forms that can be derived from the three aspects of open markets that are mentioned above. Finally the design solution shows the social, economical and spatial reflection for the proper functioning of the markets.


Thesis submitted to Post Graduate Office of Addis Ababa University, EiABC as a partial Fulfilment for MSc in Urban Design


Markets, Open Markets, Market Qualities and Open Market Design, Traditional Markets