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Public Markets: Anchors for Neighborhood Economic Development

Summary

Public Markets are key elements to urban revitalization. The number of markets in the U.S. has increased from roughly 1,500 markets in 1994 to over 3,500 in 2004. Markets can improve districts in the following ways: act as a small business incubator, spur economic development around the market, connect local producers to consumers, provide vital social services to low-income citizens, provide access to healthy foods, offer affordable housing, and create a sense of place in the community. In order to achieve success, markets develop community partnerships that focus on different areas of improvement, such as historic preservation, retail development, a link between food producers and consumers, social services, and affordable housing. They then structure their leadership in such a way that is responsive to that area of improvement. The most successful markets establish a variety of community partnerships that focus on a range of improvements and community needs.