Supported by The Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Conference Overview

The face of communities – indeed the face of public markets themselves – are changing dramatically. Immigration… gentrification… tourism… outsourcing… big box chains… sprawl. These forces of change have brought new challenges to communities around the world – and new opportunities for public markets.

Today, markets are finding innovative partners who recognize their value for promoting community health, incubating new businesses, creating local food systems, revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, and preserving family farms. At the same time, the “nuts and bolts” of operating successful markets remains as important as ever.

The Washington DC – Baltimore metropolitan area, with its dramatically shifting demographics, is the ideal place to analyze these trends and put a spot light on the opportunities they offer for public markets. New markets are thriving in wealthy suburbs and low income cities’ neighborhoods alike; both cities are seeking to preserve their historic markets and bring them back to life. This conference can help Washington and Baltimore shape the future of their public markets in the 21st Century – and provide all of us with lessons to take home to our own communities and markets.

Over 350 participants are expected for the three day event which will bring together community advocates, accomplished market managers and visionary leaders in a unique opportunity to explore the changing forces that are shaping the face of public markets – now and in the future.

Finally, we come to Washington as the nation’s capitol to advocate for new supportive policies for public markets and farmers markets, and we encourage all US conference participants to take this opportunity to meet with their Congressional representatives.

Let’s use this time to shape a new future for public markets both nationally and internationally!


Workshops & Exhibits

Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings will be posted here as they become available.


Workshops & Exhibits

Conference attendees may access copies of the workshop presentations & other conference materials. To obtain a the password for this area, contact Chris Heitmann at (212) 620-5660.

Through speakers, workshops and breakout sessions attendees will explore topics relating to this year’s theme;

  • Markets and micro-enterprise development programs
  • Markets as anchors for local food systems
  • Gentrification – a threat or an opportunity?
  • New partners for public markets
  • Public markets and public health
  • FMC Policy Summit session
  • Federal, private, and foundation partnerships supporting market initiatives

Workshops will also offer practical tools and tips for experienced market managers as well as newcomers to the market world:

  • Markets 101
  • 10 top tips for effective marketing
  • Starting up a market
  • Fundraising and on-going market development
  • How to attract new vendors
  • Why markets fail
  • Assessing and rebuilding markets in the Gulf
  • Measuring economic impact: building the case for your market
  • Markets and youth programs
  • Understanding your customer and creating a great shopping destination

Workshop sessions are facilitated by a moderator and 3-4 selected panelists, each of whom present their own experiences and viewpoints about the session topic. Detailed workshop sessions and panelists will be posted on the conference schedule 14 days in advance of the conference.


The 6th International Public Market Conference is supported by:

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide whose goals are to; strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement.

WK Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to apply knowledge to solve the problems of people. Its founder W.K. Kellogg, the cereal industry pioneer, established the Foundation in 1930. Since its beginning the Foundation has continuously focused on building the capacity of individuals, communities, and institutions to solve their own problems.

In addition, PPS would like to thank the following organizations & individuals for their support:

The Flea Market at Eastern Market
For their contribution towards the Saturday, October 29th reception. The flea market is open every Sunday 10am-5pm. Visit their website at

Market 5 Gallery at Eastern Market
For their contribution towards the Saturday, October 29th reception. Market 5 Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-5pm. Visit their website at

Lexington Market (Baltimore)
For their support of the Baltimore Public Market Halls Tour. Please visit their website at:

32nd Street Waverly Farmers Market (Baltimore)
For their support of the Baltimore City, Neighborhood and Suburban Markets Tour. Please visit their website at:

For their support of the opening Welcome Reception in downtown Washington. Please visit their website at:

Councilor Ambrose, Ward 6 Committee for Citizens Services, Washington DC
For her support of the Eastern Market Reception event.

Market Tours

Washington DC, Baltimore and neighboring Virginia offer an abundance of markets to suit all interests. Tours will take place on Saturday October 29th and explore vibrant neighborhood farmers markets, bustling ethnic markets in low-income neighborhoods and historic market halls. All tours are guided and participants will assess selected markets using the PPS “Place Game,” a specialized tool to identify the strengths and opportunities inherent in each location. Time will be built into the program on Sunday for self-guided tours of some of Washington’s colorful flea, craft and farmers markets.

Click on the following links for details:
(You may have to turn off pop-up blocking in your web browser to open these links.)

Washington DC Markets

Washington has a plethora of markets — from the stalwart and popular Eastern Market on Capitol Hill to fledgling neighborhood farmers markets, a municipal fish market on the water, the bazaar-like market at RFK stadium parking lot, high quality flea markets, and the old Florida Avenue Market district which is threatened with development.

Baltimore Markets

The City Markets are Baltimore’s oldest institutions – dating back 250 years. The character of the markets has changed drastically over two centuries and they are once again adapting to new opportunities and pressures. New outdoor farmers markets also provide fresh food choices for inner city and suburban residents and a lively stop for our tours.

6th International Public Markets Conference: Overview was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces