Market Cities: Barcelona Offers a Hopeful Glimpse of the Future (Project for Public Spaces)

A post-automobile world?

Ever since freezers and preservatives freed us from the need to shop at food markets on a daily basis, the focus has shifted almost entirely to convenience, resulting in the proliferation of supermarkets and box stores. In the process, food has been disconnected from the natural cycle of daily life. “There’s a lot of talk about food deserts today, but what many neighborhoods really have are place deserts,” says PPS’sSteve Davies. “As a result, we’re seeing a movement back to the idea of the Market City, with markets acting as catalysts for creating centers in neighborhoods that have lost their sense of place.”

Market Cities are places with strong networks for the distribution of healthy, locally-produced food and other goods. They have large central markets that act as hubs for the region and function as great multi-use destinations, with many activities clustering nearby; moving out into the…

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