Project For Public Spaces Launches Initiative to Improve Marketplaces Worldwide
In a partnership with Healthbridge and Slow Food, Project for Public Spaces (PPS) kicked off the Market Cities Initiative with citywide strategies in three major metropolitan areas, working remotely with stakeholders in Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Toronto to better understand the importance of sustainable public marketplaces and to support communities by way of developing localized market networks.
The PPS strategy seeks to address the many threats faced by public markets and the economies that house them. "These constant and immediate threats include increasing urban development and value of real estate; the modernization and centralization of food systems; economic development practices that neglect women, minority populations, and other small entrepreneurs; and the lack of management capacity of the markets themselves," say PPS officials.
PPS worked in February to gather data about challenges faced by public markets through a Market Cities Survey that collected initial responses from more than 60 cities worldwide. Survey participants reported a lack of communication between market managers in their area. The next step in the strategy: Inventory and map market networks and conduct online forums to connect market operators and city officials.
Given the uncertainty of U.S. markets' ability to operate in the near future, PPS will keep watch over government, police, and investor responses as they continue to move forward with the project.