The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Mercado Central

Santiago

Chile

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 7, 2015
December 14, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Mercado Central was an impressive example of modern architecture, with vaulted ceilings and an intricate roof design consisting of a pyramidal roof crowned by a domed tower. It boasts one of the largest concentrations of local diversity in the country with stalls selling impressive varieties of seasonal and fresh Chilean foodstuffs, handicrafts, and household items. The market is also home to numerous restaurants, delis, bakeries, pharmacies and even a tour center for foreign visitors. Occupying an entire city block, the market not only has a huge amount of space devoted to commerce, it also reserves ample space for the meeting and gathering of communities, families and friends.

The space invites all kinds of people--foreign and local, young and old--to interact with and experience true Chilean culture.  Internationally recognized by National Geographic as one of the greatest markets in the world, Mercado Central is a stunning example of how markets can help create community while providing much needed services to residents and visitors.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Originally located on the edge of the Mapocho River, the Mercado Central de Santiago started as a central location for local commerce. In 1869 however, the market was reborn after a fire in 1864 destroyed the Plaza del Abasto--the official home of the market for many years. Built using European cast iron technology, the new market building incorporated Neoclassical and Renaissance architectural styles. It was finished in 1872 and was opened with the blessings of the president at the time, Federico Errázuriz Zañartu, a great honor not bestowed upon many public markets. Between 1927 and 1930, the northern face of the market was demolished due to restrictions imposed upon the market due to its specialized piping and location. Then in 1984, the market was declared a national monument by the Chilean government. Today, it continues to be jointly owned and managed by market vendors, making this market a true example of a community landmark.

Related Links & Sources

Image Credits: Ronald Woan via Flickr, Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr, Leandro Pinto via Flickr

Website: http://www.mercadocentral.cl/

Twitter: @MercadoCentral_

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Mercado-Central-de-Santiago

Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central
Mercado Central

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

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