The book Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City, written by USC Price School of Public Policy Associate Professor Annette Kim and published by the University of Chicago Press, was recently named the recipient of the “Publisher’s Accolade for Outstanding Production Value” by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS).
The accolade was part of the 2017 ICAS Book Prize, which was established in 2004. Kim and the University of Chicago Press were recognized for successfully “combining ethnography and cartography to portray life on the sidewalks in Ho Chi Minh City,” according to the ICAS website.
In Sidewalk City, Kim, director of Price’s Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB), focuses on the vibrant sidewalk life and economy of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City — employing a novel approach to the visualization and mapping of this public space.
Ho Chi Minh City is known for having sidewalks bustling with action. Street vendors set up shop to sell a variety of foods and merchandise, creating a social atmosphere with people of different classes lingering to chat over snacks and drinks. To many city officials, it was an unsightly mess that needed to be cleared off and modernized to impress tourists. But to Kim, it was beautiful.
With her book, Kim uses critical cartography and spatial ethnography to provide new insights into the value and potential of this contested public space.