New Orleans Public Markets Make a Comeback

Plagued by supermarket chains and natural disasters, the public markets of New Orleans could help revive community identity. Here are some of the ways they're getting back in business.

1 minute read

March 27, 2015, 6:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

New Orleans street

JasonParis / Flickr

Neither supermarkets nor farmers' markets, New Orleans public markets once bound the city together. Nina Feldman writes, "[t]he markets were iconic buildings, usually positioned in the center of the neighborhood. They sold produce, meat and dairy in the morning. As the day wore on, the ice melted and food couldn't be kept cold any longer. So in the afternoons and evenings, the markets stopped functioning as markets, but still served as gathering spaces. They were the hubs of their community, hosting events like political rallies and concerts."

The rise of supermarket-based food economics threatened the markets' viability. And their New Orleans location gave rise to additional challenges: "When Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago, it proved to be a deadly blow for many of these already fragile structures. The era of demolition by neglect was over; hurricane winds and floodwaters left buildings like the old St. Roch Market destroyed."

Feldman describes post-Katrina efforts to revive and rebrand the iconic structures, reviving some of their old functions in the process. Markets under redevelopment include St. Roch Market, Dryades Market, and Circle Food Store. From the article: "The public market network in New Orleans will never resemble its previous system; the markets' primary function is not as essential to every day life. But they can still offer New Orleans neighborhoods an opportunity to establish a sense of identity."

Monday, March 16, 2015 in Next City

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Herd of cattle grazing in field with cowboy on horse watching them.

BLM Grazing Lands Largely Fail Health Assessment

Grazing lands under the agency’s management are not meeting its own criteria for ecosystem conservation and sustainable use.

8 minutes ago - High Country News

Blue electric bus labeled with 'All-Electric Bus Wind Powered by PGE' in white in Tigard, Oregon.

TriMet Ridership Grows Thanks to Realignment, Schedule Changes

The agency’s response to post-pandemic changes in travel behavior is paying off.

2 hours ago - Portland Tribune

Close-up from back of woman walking on crosswalk with two small children on either side of her riding bicycles with training wheels.

When Small Projects Make a Big Impact

Small, mundane infrastructure projects can make meaningful changes for pedestrian and bike safety.

4 hours ago - Mayors Innovation Project

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.