From the Temple Street night market in Hong Kong to the Southbank Centre weekend market in London, temporary open-air markets give cities across the world their unique cultural identity. These makeshift markets provide spontaneity and vibrancy to public spaces: Bangkok would not be the same without the Chatuchak market just as Mumbai would be incomplete without its Colaba market. Many of these markets only appear weekly or for a few hours daily, enabling vendors to afford the rents on a time-sharing basis. Indian cities have long been made up of such flexible, multi-functional and informally organized spaces. But the modernizing government in Delhi is taking aim at the city’s characteristic street culture, including the book market that has charmed passersby for decades.
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