20 November 2013 – (re-)gentrification and traditional food markets

I would like to touch on the current ‘re-invention’ of some traditional or public markets as part of the (re)-gentrification of inner-city neighbourhoods. For example, there is a ‘revival’ for some of London’s markets and this is proving a magnet for some home-buyers: in some cases, doubling local house prices. Likewise,  in some US cities, planners and shoppers have also re-discovered the market shopping experience – farmers markets have doubled over the past 10 years – and old indoor markets are getting facelifts, like Washington D.Cs new Union Market. In Napa, California, a new indoor market has been built from scratch.

 But perhaps there is a risk that this re-gentrification could threaten the tradition of those that use the traditional, public market as a place to buy affordable fresh food ? For the future, we have to balance the use of these important food markets as central ‘attractions’ that may invigorate local neighbourhoods, against their purpose of providing access to affordable fresh food for all – particularly for those that may already be living in those neighbourhoods and who may be getting priced out of the market (literally).

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