Typology Common Space Market
The aim of the Common Space Market is to promote local and sustainable cultivation as an alternative to global mass production.
Small scale farming can hardly compete with the mass production of goods in a global scale. However, local markets offer crucial financial opportunities for small scale farmers and producers to make a living. Markets have always been a venue, where not only goods, but also knowledge, cultures, news and social contacts have been exchanged. While being „infrastructure“, markets always play an important role as low-threshold social hotspots. The typology of the Common Space Market is therefore fundamental for sustaining nearby food production and developing and sharing knowledge about agriculture, landscapes and food.
The Common Space Market Typology can be seen as a new layer to the already existing infrastructure. Markets should be multi-purpose, public sites, offering locally sourced high quality food at affordable prices, while making sure that the economically vulnerable too are well supplied. Cities like Vienna have a high potential for that: about a third of the green spaces in Vienna is used for agricultural purposes. Almost two thirds of all cucumbers harvested in Austria are grown within the city limits!
Most businesses engaged in Vienna’s more than 20 food markets are small-scale, with a majority having less than nine employees. The impression of the markets is very diverse: Some vendors are claiming that the market has lost its function as a local food supplier and is thus lacking visitors, or are overcrowded by the many tourists coming to the market as a touristic site.
The power of markets as a cultural site (therefore also interesting to tourists) cannot be neglected. This is why a Common Space Market should also be a platform for education, workshops, network-building and festivities. It is thus more a place of interaction than just a place of consumption.
Many cities are now putting great emphasis on their market places because they have realized their great economic and social impact as key drivers for sustainable urban development. Projects like the Urbact Markets Programme are there to connect cities throughout Europe in a network to learn and exchange about cultural differences and national procedures and common strategies concerning the role of the city markets (urbact.eu/urbact-markets). Vienna unfortunately is currently not integrated into such networks. The Common Space Market Typology however reaches out with the aim to join cities throughout the globe to support local production and social cohesion.