The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all see the world and architects and designers the world over are quickly shifting to a brave new world where their ideas will change the way we live on a daily basis to a much safer way. One area where we are seeing worry from the general public is how to stay safe when buying groceries, especially as in many countries currently this is the only time of day that we are legally permitted to leave the home. One Dutch architecture studio has looked at this problem, specifically with street food markets, and have come up with a way to keep people safe in future when purchasing items in a street food market setting.
Shift Architecture Urbanism understands that the popular street food market concept might not survive if it fails to adapt, especially as the public comes out of this crisis with a greater understanding of the dangers of potential infection. They have developed a brand-new model for a street food market that allows the public to turn up and to buy fresh produce without the worry of coming into contact with other people during the pandemic. Social distancing rules and the way in which supermarkets and other shops and restaurants work during lockdown has changed our perception of how to shop functionally, but also how we would like to shop in the future as the lockdown measures are reduced but the potential for infection remains.
Hyperlocal Micro Markets is the concept, bringing together a network of public markets. The idea is that customers have access to fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish and dairy products in the same way that they usually would, but the design means they are less likely to come into contact with other people at a time where we are all wary of being too close to others for fear of contracting or spreading the virus. We all have to shop for food though, so how does this new concept for a street food market actually work?
The idea is a design of 16-sqaure grids. These can be set up with relative ease in a standard public square of any kind, whether in a small town or a large city. It allows people to shop for groceries whilst following an easy pattern that allows for social distancing at its most effective.
The proposal was developed after public markets were closed down or severely restricted in Rotterdam where the firm is based, but also around the world. As well as decimating producers and small independents, it also led to greater pressure on the supermarkets, which immediately suffered from a strain on the supply chain in every country whilst scrambling for new ways to serve customers whilst adhering to strict social distancing protocol.
The proposal for a new style of public food market is that existing large marketplaces can be easily split up into micro markets that are spread out through the now empty towns and city centres. This will help local economies to survive, take the strain away from the supermarkets and still allow for people to shop in comfort without the worry of coming into contact with people in packed, tight spaces.