Farmer's Markets Bucking the Trend

Architect Richard Reep argues that farmer's markets in Orlando are creating public space in areas that have all but rejected the idea of common ground.
December 19, 2008, 7am PST | Tim Halbur
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"We continue to evolve into a city that has troubled public spaces and increasing private spaces, much like the rest of the country. While the crime rate has risen suddenly in Central Florida, however, our public space, far from being doomed, is now hosting scenes of new civic involvement.

The age-old agora, contrary to reports of its death, is actually alive and well. Weekend markets are springing up in public nooks and crannies around the older, urban core, and in the suburban public parks as well. These markets are scenes of a new American involvement with each other, in a manner similar to the traditional European town square and the historical American village green. "Farmer's Markets," "Fresh Markets," and "Weekend Markets" are becoming popular not just in downtown Orlando, but in downtown Winter Park, Maitland, College Park, and surrounding communities. These markets are exciting because they are growing, despite all the forces working against them: crime, internet commerce, and the accelerated kinetic lives we lead in this new millennium. People are finding something important at these small, crowded, open-air market stalls, and it isn't just good tomatoes."

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Published on Saturday, December 13, 2008 in newgeography
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