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Marketplaces as urban development strategies: a workshop in Rome Esquilino Market

Think with us on how to improve the New Esquilino Market in Rome!


Key note: Prof. Sophie Watson, (Open University, UK).

Commentator: Councillor Marta Leonori (Municipality of Rome, Italy).

For other participating experts, see here.

The workshop aims to re-think the role of marketplaces in supporting public life of today’s cities: How do marketplaces create a vivid public space? How can they work as inclusive places for economically vulnerable groups? How can they enhance place identities? How do they transform neighbourhoods where they are located?

Rather than a classical Conference Panel, this workshop brings the conversation together by focussing on one practical case-study – the Nuovo Mercato Esquilino in central Rome – where actual planning concerns guide participants into investigating the above questions in concreto. In doing so, the event aims to generate a productive conversation between academics, practitioners, and city inhabitants, that highlights the potential of marketplaces as urban development strategies.


The workshop consists of a guided Field Trip in Nuovo Mercato Esquilino, followed by a World Café Session, where local and international experts will reflect on the existing problems that the market faces.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

The outcomes of the Workshop will be presented during the Biennial of Public Space in a public session on markets and public space on May 21st, 11:00 -13:00.

The workshop is the first in a series, the following being Amsterdam, Beirut and Istanbul (tbc).

This series follows from a Special Issue on Marketplaces in Built Environment edited by Freek Janssens and Ceren Sezer.

Organising committee:

Relevant links: