Of the many trials faced by city managers in developing countries, one of the most challenging is undoubtedly the Street Vendors (SV) problem. They are a perpetual problem for street and sidewalk users in most Indonesian cities. Their spill-over business onto roadways is the source of traffic congestion. Their informal setting and business refuse (garbage) cause unsightly urban vista. However there is now a gradual shift of perspectives that focus on their economic potentials, offering a smart city manager a host of development opportunities. Hence the current
policy of harassment and elimination of SV, as practiced by most municipalities in Indonesia, is counter productive at best and inhuman at worst.
This paper discusses the roots of the SV phenomenon (found to be mostly economics) and suggests several SV management solutions sampled from best practices from around the world.