In the Smithsonian
blog, Sarah Rich describes "What Public Spaces Like Cleveland’s West Side Market Mean for Cities," a lead-up of sorts to the Public Markets Conference to be held in Cleveland next week.
Rich writes that, "Markets have long been an important organizing principle for infrastructure, traffic patterns, and human activity in a city, but in many places, the grand buildings that once housed central markets have gone neglected, and the businesses inside are long shuttered. Where public markets are still in operation or have been revived, however, it’s hard to find a stronger example of the power of placemaking."
These places are Market Cities, where public food sources “act as hubs for the region and function as great multi-use destinations, with many activities clustering nearby… Market Cities are, in essence, places where food is one of the fundamental building blocks of urban life -- not just fuel that you use to get through the day.”
"There are a number of good examples of market cities in the U.S., but one of the best is Cleveland, where the century-old West Side Market has become a key engine in the city’s revitalization. The market building itself is one of Cleveland’s finest architectural gems -- a vast, red-brick terminal with stunningly high vaulted ceilings, book-ended with massive, arched windows."
"The West Side Market is now just one (albeit sizeable) node in a buzzing network of food-related endeavors -- restaurants, farmers’ markets, urban farms -- which are assembling into a whole new identity for the Rust Belt
Read the rest of the report here