01/27/2015 by Econsult Corporation (Feb 2007)
Public markets are unique economic and social institutions which are increasingly being viewed as tools to achieve a wide variety of goals. These goals include improved access to quality food, better marketing opportunities for family farmers, improving social interaction in urban neighborhoods, increasing social cohesion, providing employment opportunities to local communities, creating entrepreneurial environment to increase small business formation, and enhancing community economic development. These are fairly high hopes for the relatively simple market institution, with small businesses that continuously compete for survival. Yet many, including the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) believe that the public markets fill a unique niche that delivers both economic and social benefits. At the request of PPS, Econsult Corporation (Econsult) participated in several meetings of the Public Markets working group to help them think about measuring the potential benefits of public markets.