¡Nos vemos en Barcelona!      Let's Meet in Barcelona!     ¡Ens trobem a Barcelona!

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is proud to host the 9th International Public Markets Conference in one of world’s greatest Market Cities – Barcelona. Arguably the international model for a Market City, Barcelona boasts 43 food and non-food public markets, many of which have recently undergone major renovation. We are delighted to host this event with the Institut Municipal de Mercats de Barcelona (IMMB) – operator of the city’s remarkable market system – in partnership with UN-Habitat.

The conference will focus on new trends and innovations for the preservation and revitalization of public markets internationally – from temporary open air markets to permanent market halls to 24/7 bustling market districts.


Over three days the world’s leading public market operators, developers and thought-leaders will experience how Barcelona succeeds as a Market City. Together, we will articulate a new global vision for public markets as authentic places that are increasingly recognized for their contributions to sustainable food systems, local economic development and rural-urban linkages.

Conference participants will spend an entire day visiting and learning about the inner workings of Barcelona’s extraordinary markets, led by IMMB experts.





Barcelona provides a remarkable backdrop for the discussion of the future of markets – their challenges, innovations, and opportunities. A wide array of international speakers will explore:

Why markets matter – and why they represent one of the most cost-effective investment cities can make

Innovative ways markets are achieving a broad range of community benefits

New trends in market design, infrastructure, and management

Evolving forms and types of indoor and outdoor markets

Strengthening markets as focal points for linking rural and urban economies

Expanding roles for preserving food culture and stimulating food innovation

Catalytic impacts of markets as public spaces and community destinations

Addressing economic and real estate challenges facing markets today

Upcoming opportunities to expand strategic global policy support for markets


Market Tours

Conference tours will visit a wide range of markets throughout Barcelona including such highlights as the recently renovated Santa Caterina Market, to Sant Antoni Market currently operating in a temporary location while its 19th Century market building undergoes renovation, to one of the oldest markets in Europe, Encants Barcelona, a flea market which just moved to a new building that retains an open-air feel within the vicinity of Plaça de les Glòries. Click here for a full description of the tours.




Conference Participants

The conference will bring together public market leaders, advocates, and representatives from throughout the world. A broad mix of government leaders, market managers, downtown planners, grassroots organizers, local food advocates, transportation experts, health care professionals, and educators from around the world will be participating.

We strongly encourage delegations from specific cities to attend the conference together, providing an opportunity for market operators, municipal staff, and civic leadership to learn more about the future of markets together, and take the lessons back to their home communities.




Barcelona, located on Spain’s northern Mediterranean coast is one of the most cosmopolitan and architecturally significant cities in the world. Home to an enviable network of 43 public markets, Barcelona was intentionally planned in such a way so that every neighborhood in the City has its own market, with each market serving approximately 25,000 residents. The markets collectively provide over 7,500 jobs serving 1.6 million people through 65 million visits per year. In the last 20 years, Barcelona has successfully transformed these markets and revitalized their surrounding areas, investing millions in capital reinvestment alone. Today the public markets reinforce local cohesion, improve environmental conditions, boost tourism, and contribute to the Barcelona’s world-renown food culture.


The Conference’s working sessions will take place at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona [Centre de Cultura Comtemporània de Barcelona] (CCCB) located in Barcelona’s Ravaldistrict, just steps from Barcelona’s flagship market La Boqueria. For almost 20 years, this beautiful facility, developed by the City and Provincial governments, has organized and produced multidisciplinary exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Since 1999, the CCCB has jointly organized the European Prize for Urban Public Space which recognizes and encourages activities aimed at recovering and creating spaces of cohesion in cities.


There is no official conference hotel, and the room blocks we reserved at hotels near the conference center are now full. Feel free to reserve accommodations of your choice. Please contact publicmarkets15@manners.es if you have any questions about a reservation you made at a hotel previously listed on the website.


Check the issue and expiration date of your passport. To enter Spain, visitors must hold a valid passport or travel document that is valid for a minimum period of three months after your expected departure dates from any of 26 European countries in the Schengen area. Your passport must also have been issued within 10 years prior to your arrival date.


Visas are required for citizens of some countries. Please consult this website for details and check with the Spanish Embassy in your country for more information.

Note that it can take at least 2-4 weeks to obtain a visa, so if you require one, you should plan your trip well in advance of the conference. If you need a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please request one by contacting publicmarkets15@manners.es



If you have questions or are interested in being a conference sponsor or partner contact: publicmarkets15@pps.org.

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