Urban Fold

The Mercados Project: Lessons for the Revival of Markets

Historically, central markets served as grand social and commercial hubs for U.S. cities. A period of 20th century decline interrupted the evolution of markets, but creative and diverse examples have precipitated a recovery around the country.

The Street Plans Collaborative recently released a new report called Mercado: Lessons from 20 Markets Across South America, which picks up on the recent boom in markets around the United States (there has been a “460% increase in the number of known farmers’ markets operating in the county between 1994 and 2008,” according to the report) by exploring 20 markets in five South American countries for lessons about the varieties of markets and their benefits to communities.

Written by Julie Flynn and edited by Mike Lydon, the report launches from the belief that “there are few venues better suited for serendipitous collisions than markets…” In total, the report explores 20 markets in 12 cities located in the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay for lessons that contribute to the applications of markets in North America. 

The report includes observations about the context of the area surrounding neighborhoods (for example, pedestrian conditions and public space), the structural components of the markets, and the variety of goods sold at the market.

Full Story: Mercado: Lessons from 20 Markets Across South America

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