The Benefits of Public Markets

Public markets are special places to gather as a community, keep ties with friends and enjoy unique experiences. Great food and fresh produce also draw many to market stalls across the U.S. But what are the tangible benefits of these spaces?

According to Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit which works to help support placemaking and community spaces across the country, “the spinoff benefits of markets are numerous.” In 2002, the organization with funding from the Ford Foundation authored a report entitled “Public Markets as a Vehicle for Social Integration and Upward Mobility.” The report’s findings grouped the benefits of markets in six categories as shown in the accompanying graphic below.

The benefits of public markets. Source: Project for Public Spaces

To learn more about the benefits of public markets, Ellen Wyoming, Project Manager for the Portland Mercado team, will be heading to Cleveland, Ohio this week to attend the Project for Public Spaces’ 8th International Public Markets Conference. The conference will bring public market advocates from around the world to discuss the benefits of public markets and the knowhow to bring them to fruition.

Ellen will be bringing a wealth of knowledge back from the Buckeye State and to the Portland Mercado. We are excited to continue work on this project, incorporating the best practices for creating vibrant public markets.

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