The Public Market and the City: A few good models (Part III)

In Part I of this topic’s series, I mentioned that LGUs in General Santos, Mati, Calapan, Muntinlupa, and Mandaluyong have injected new life into the local public markets, through Public-Private Partnerships. These revitalized public markets are now compliant with the national Standards for Public Markets.

General Santos and Muntinlupa Public Markets showcase the USAID-funded water treatment facilities which recycle used water from toilets and the wet market into irrigation water (using cocopeat), street cleaning, fire extinguisher, and toilet flush water (similarly, SM Baguio recycles its used water into toilet flush water).

In Trinidad, Bohol, the town has a Market Code, passed as ordinance in 2007. The Code reiterates the HLURB IRR provisions for public market standards. It makes known the LGU mission for the public market, which is to ‘establish a self reliant and viable eco-enterprises through the operation of public markets equipped with facilities for the services of the buying public.’ In localities where for some reasons the HLURB IRR provisions do not suffice or are not embraced, the Trinidad Market Code is a good model.

The Mandaluyong Market Place is an example of a one-stop shop which includes the public market. The original structure was a public market that was razed by fire. It was replaced by the new seven-storey structure. Its BOT scheme is a model to emulate, for LGUs intending to use it.

The Cubao Farmer’s Market is an example of provisioning urban areas with regular supply of fresh farm produce. While the wet market section is not yet within standards, the public market is centrally located and accessible to the Metro populace. Narrowing the distance is crucial in food provisioning.

From international public markets, I chose Smithfield Market, a wholesale livestock public market in London, the largest in Europe. (Europe more than the US is known for its preservation of the public market, because if you go through the continent’s history the public market is next to the castle in social and political significance. Even the King in the 15th century must pass through the public market. The agora in Greece has historical significance in terms of shaping the country’s and ultimately the world’s social and political history.) The present-day Smithfield Market is 140 years old although it is has been on the site for over a thousand years. When I flashed the photo of the Market found on its website, the class was “are you sure that’s not a church?” The structure according to its website is a feat of engineering in its time. (LGUs need to learn to engage local artists and visionary architects in the design of public buildings and spaces. Public buildings here look heavy (much use of concrete. Why, when it’s a tropical country?) and locked up, barring entry of natural air and light (the reason given was, thieves may break in. If it’s prominently glass, the color is a tinted sick blue or a pasty yellow. Who’s designing these? This country has several internationally-acclaimed architects to help if they are so asked.).

Smithfield Market is a model for a professionally-run livestock market that Philippines country could learn from.

Recommended further reading:
Public Markets and Municipal Reform in the Progressive Era


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