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Conference Report


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.

‍PPS International Public Markets Conference attendees are market operators and developers, government officials, market vendors, designers/architects, community developers and activists, community nonprofit workers, real estate investors, local food activists, urban planners, academic researchers and historians. Geographically, participants travel to the conference from all over the globe, but at least a third of attendees typically represent the region in which the conference is hosted.

See the Barcelona 2015 conference agenda.

View PowerPoint presentations from the conference sessions on SlideShare. Summaries of sessions coming soon.

Photos & Social Media
For conference photos
(and lots of them!) check out
our Flickr page. Relive the event
on Twitter!

Conference Blog Posts

“It was one of the best conferences I have been to for many years! The workshops were informative, attendees diverse and interested in comparing notes. I look forward to the possibility of another conference put together internationally by PPS.”
“Catalytic - seems that PPS has pulled together critical mass for international standards for determining successful strategies to reinforce public markets as community centers”
“The people I met and ideas shared were invaluable. Learning about how other countries and cities tackle similar issues was helpful to formulating process in our community.”
“Wonderful. I was concerned that having recently attended a PPS training that I was attending a very similar conference "too soon." Not so! The depth and variety of the subjects was complex, impressive, and thought provoking - the opportunity was invaluable.”