23 May 2016: London borough installs solar panels over marketplace

The London borough of Hounslow has installed 6000 solar panels over the rooftop of Western International wholesale market – it is the biggest solar scheme by any local authority – and has the added advantage of storing energy in batteries on-site.

You can read more – and see a photograph – here


15 March 2015 – market photographs – records of change

Many people are aware of ‘The Street Markets of London” by Mary Benedetta and the wonderful black and white photographs by L. Moholy-Nagy, published in 1936 (see this blog 1 November 2013). I have also pointed out the blog called Spitalfields life and this link has more black and white photographs, taken from glass slides housed at the Bishopsgate Institute Library, and some reflections on London’s old markets, as they operated in the early twentieth century (see this blog 15 December 2013). I have recently acquired another small volume of black and white photographs of ‘Preston Market’ by Craig Atkinson which are reminiscent of this earlier era in the capital which are well worth a look.

You can find out more about the Preston Market volume here


13 March 2015 – the squeezed middle class

The UK Guardian blog (7 March) shows some remarkable research conducted by Benjamin Hennig and Danny Dorling from the University of Oxford that uses living maps to demonstrate the extent to which London has become polarised between rich and poor over the past 30 years, with a 43% decrease in middle-income households between 1980 and 2010.

The article also reveals how ‘England is increasingly divided between the rich and the poor, with a 60% increase in poor households and a 33% increase in wealthy households. This has come at a time – 1980 to 2010 – when the number of middle-income households went down by 27%’.

You can read the full article here
Visit Benjamin Hennig’s website here and Danny Dorling’s website here


11 February 2015 – Renewing old markets

The Urbact blog is part of an EU initiative that provides a platform for sharing ideas on current urban issues and innovative solutions for cities in Europe and in the world – one aspect features urban markets. There is an interesting article,’Renewing old markets – a tool for cities’, written by Núria Costa. She mentions that the project will be publishing a ‘Market Handbook’ and says, “this will present the benefits and opportunities that markets offer and some examples of good practices in participating cities: Attica, Barcelona, ​​Dublin, London, Pecs, Suceava, Turin, Toulouse and Wroclaw”.

You can read more here


14 December 2014 – US views of ten fantastic food markets around the world

The US non-profit organisation Food Tank – described on its website as ‘ an independent voice seeking sustainable solutions for our broken food system’- has a posting about ten fantastic food markets around the world. You can see the list and read the post here


2 December 2014 – popular food markets in Europe

The UK Guardian website has a short piece that recommends popular food markets in Europe. It puts the new Markthal in Rotterdam at the top of the list (see listing for 4 October) – I’m planning a trip in the New Year to see for myself.
You can read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/dec/01/top-10-food-markets-europe-berlin-vienna-london


26 September 2014 – Visualizing urban expansion

There are some fascinating time-lapse videos that dramatically demonstrate the rapid growth of urban growth and land use from the 1800s to the 2000s in major cities around the world on the website of the NYU Stern Urbanization Project . You can see the videos here – they graphically highlight the challenges posed by urbanization for land use as cities rapidly expand.