Hard times are usually the setting for great ideas. Shift’s hyperlocal micro markets offers a replicable solution to the supply issues created by the current contingency.
Shift is a Dutch architecture and urbanism firm, their practice is oriented towards proactive design for today’s spatial problems. The studio acknowledges that the current crisis poses an obstacle for the correct operation of supply chains, so they undertook the task to develop a solution that allows for local business operation without risking the health of people practicing social distancing.
Measures from one country to another have changed, but in most cases, the suspension of commercial activities was the first step to control the contingency. Many local markets (or weekly street markets) have closed, putting supply pressure on big supermarkets. This is a problem when it comes to the number of people who need to get food and the difficulty to control sanitary measures. At the same time, the price difference between products found in a supermarket and a local market poses a disadvantage for people with low income.
With this in mind, Shift focused on creating a solution that would allow local markets to keep operating, in a safer way for consumers. This works by making larger markets scatter around cities and for small markets to adopt this proposal’s measures.
The proposed micro markets consist of a 16-square grid, aligning three stalls, each one selling different kinds of products, like fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat. The grid is visible on the ground and has a fence around its perimeter. It features one entrance and two exits. In order to maintain social distancing, each square must have only one person and the maximum capacity when walking around the grid is six people. These rules are explained at the micro market’s entrance.
Images are courtesy of Shift.