Apply to Host the 2018 International PPS Public Markets Conference

      Posted On: February 2, 2017

By Dar Wolnik, FMC Senior Researcher

Projects for Public Spaces (PPS) has released their Request for Interest (RFI) to host their popular public market conference in 2018.

RFI Deadlines for hosting the event are fast approaching:
– Letter of Interest – due February 17, 2017
– Full proposal invitation – March 10, 2017
– Full proposal – due April 21, 2017

PPS is an international leader in public space design, using their well-honed and practical methods for citizen engagement in the design of projects, many of which are centered around markets. PPS was founded in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. The NYC-based organization has since completed projects in more than 3000 communities across 43 countries and in all 50 U.S. states.

PPS has hosted nine public market conferences (roughly one every three years) in Seattle, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Vancouver, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Cleveland and Barcelona, Spain. The first conference was held in 1987 at Seattle’s Pike Place Market and was titled “Tradition and Promise.” It was designed to help communities recognize the historic and continuing role of public markets and to introduce Placemaking tools to aid that process. PPS saw a trend of revitalization ahead in the public market world – the Granville Island Public Market had just opened the year before in Vancouver B.C. – anchoring a new era of commerce and public space.

Markets of every size and type as well as municipal leaders, funders, researchers and other professionals interested in markets and/or public design attend these conferences. The conference always includes a plenary, workshops, networking receptions and market tours. The market tours offer attendees a spectrum of market and food projects to compare their work and get some great ideas to take back home to their market community.

The last public market conference held in the U.S. was in Cleveland in 2012; check out the agenda as an example of what your area would gain besides the obvious benefit of hosting a wide number of market peers and network leaders who may shed some light on your city’s markets and public space needs.

Here is what PPS’ Vice President Kelly Verel says: “We’re excited to be planning our 10th International Public Markets Conference. Like our last nine conferences we are looking for co-hosts who represent a diverse spectrum of public markets – from open-air to indoor, from food to non-food. I hope that many cities/regions consider applying since the conference is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the good work that all types of communities are doing to advance the benefits that markets bring.”

Completed applications may be submitted as a PDF or MS Word format to no later than February 17, 2017. Questions may also be sent to Kelly Verel at