Project for Public Spaces (PPS) hosted the 9th International Public Markets Conference this past March in one of world’s greatest Market Cities – Barcelona. Arguably the international model for a Market City, Barcelona boasts 43 food and non-food public markets, many of which have recently undergone major renovation. We are delighted to have hosted this event with the Institut Municipal de Mercats de Barcelona (IMMB) – operator of the city’s remarkable market system – in partnership with UN-Habitat.
380 of the world’s leading public market operators, developers and thought-leaders traveled to the conference from over 130 cities and 40 countries across the globe to experience how Barcelona succeeds as a Market City. Over the course of three days, participants attended themed sessions featuring a wide array of international speakers, and spent an entire day visiting and learning about the inner workings of Barcelona’s extraordinary markets from IMMB experts.
The conference focused on new trends and innovations for the preservation and revitalization of public markets internationally – from temporary open air markets to permanent market halls to 24/7 bustling market districts. Together, we articulated a new global vision for public markets as authentic places that are increasingly recognized for their contributions to sustainable food systems, local economic development and rural-urban linkages. Please take a moment to read and sign the resulting Conference Declaration and view the running list of signatories and organizations represented.