Great markets can spark urban revitalization, foster community diversity, and improve public health. Across the globe, we’re on the verge of a new era of market cities, with expansive networks to connect people and places.
At the first working session of the 9th International Public Markets Conference in Barcelona, participants discussed how public markets can stay relevant in today’s competitive marketplace. Because the success of a public market depends on its ability to remain flexible, as moderator and PPS Vice President Kelly Verel described, “market operators are often leading the charge on what is new and innovative.”
A recent study highlights the impacts that the 2014 relocation of the Flint Farmers Market had on improving access to healthy food in an underserved community with few available options for making nutritious food choices.
In October 2014, after two years of rebuilding, recruiting, and planning, the Boise International Market (BIM) opened on the site of a once-dilapidated and partially burnt down strip mall in the “Bench” neighborhood of Treasure Valley. Today, only a few months since opening its doors, the site has 27 vendors and restaurants selling food, clothing, and other products from all over the world.
We know that public markets can become the heart and soul of a community, its common ground, a place where people easily interact, alive with social and economic activity. But how can markets provide tangible evidence of their valuable direct and indirect economic impact?