One of the most obvious, but perhaps least understood, methods of enhancing social integration in public spaces and encouraging upward mobility are public markets. Increasingly, community leaders and local government see public markets as a means of addressing some of the more vexing problems of our cities: the need to bring people of different ethnic groups and incomes together; the need to make inviting and safe public spaces; the need to reinvigorate low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and to support small-scale economic activity; the need to provide fresh, high-quality produce to inner-city residents; and the need to protect open space and preserve farming around cities. (Project For Public Spaces, Public Markets as a Vehicle for Social Integration and Upward Mobility report)
|The public market: A place to gather, eat, buy food and run a local business|
"BPMC was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization, to operate the public markets in a manner beneficial to the City of Baltimore and it's citizens....Baltimore’s Public Markets are the oldest continuously operating public market system in the United States. In operation before the city’s health department and even the mayor’s office, the markets continue to maintain a tradition for which Baltimore is famous" (website). Or as current Market Director Robert Thomas puts it in a statement for this article:
Citizens of this city are .. presented with an underestimated jewel in that Baltimore enjoys multiple public markets unlike any other American city of which we are aware.
Ultimately, even though the Markets Board will be heard, the property is titled to Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. That fact must be respected, but also encourages citizen support and input. (Robert Thomas).