by Peter Mörtenböck & Helge Mooshammer

One of the most referenced examples of an informal market as nucleus of urban development is the so-called Arizona Market in the Brcko district in the Northeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There are a number of different narratives in circulation about what triggered the birth and boom of this vast informal market in war-torn Bosnia. The most widely supported ones attribute its rise to a kind of natural emergence of a free market environment, under the protection of the military presence of the International Community and as desired by the local population.

Arizona Market

‘Arizona Road’

‘Arizona Road’ in 2001, image by Azra Aksamija