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 

San Luis Obispo Farmers Market

San Luis Obispo

CA

USA

Contributed by 
Harriet Festing
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 23, 2002
December 14, 2017

An incredible street party and farmers' market rolled into one - the market is just one part of a 6-block weekly event.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

"Clouds of bright helium balloons float beside food booths that offer everything from pizza-by-the-slice to warm-from-the-oven cookies" - so says the brochure for this place. Although this market lacks the sense of purity or intimacy of other farmers' markets and is borderline tacky, I think they've managed the event well - it's certainly fun.

Access & Linkages

It's right downtown and you can see by watching the streams of people passing, that most people walk there.

Comfort & Image

It gets pretty packed at the market and it would benefit from places to sit away from the crowds. Otherwise, it's relaxed.

Uses & Activities

There's loads to do - activities include rock bands, juggling acts, dances and puppets shows - but the best bit is people-watching. I had a video camera with me and took amazing footage of people chilling-out, dancing and eating.

Sociability

The market is so diverse, it's pretty social.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

The market was started in 1983 by the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association. It was seen as a way to draw shoppers downtown on Thursday night - the one night that stores stayed open until 9pm. The Farmers' Market has since received international press coverage as well as the attention of city governments across the country. Reporters, writers and visiting city officials are duly impressed, then dumbfounded, when they realize it's held every week.

Related Links & Sources

San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market

*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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The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design