Shift Architecture Urbanism Creates Hyperlocal Micro Markets that Operate During COVID-19 Shutdowns

Shift architecture urbanism developed micro-markets that can operate on a hyper-local scale during coronavirus shutdowns. The research elaborated on a scheme allowing traders to provide fresh food in a safe way to the self-quarantined inhabitants of the city. 

Shift architecture urbanism, a Rotterdam based design office headed by Harm Timmermans, Oana Radeş and Thijs van Bijsterveldt, has created a concept that can be implemented during shutdowns, to guarantee the distribution of fresh food and groceries with a minimum of risk. Limiting the amount of traveling through the city and physical contact between people, the project tackles with open-air fresh produce markets, aiming to reduce the pressure on supermarkets.

Courtesy of Shift architecture urbanism

Taking on the vital infrastructure of food distribution, Shift architecture urbanism opted for a simple solution. With a standard design, the studio proposed to “keep the vital function of the fresh produce markets fully intact, even strengthening it, while at the same time minimizing its potential role in spreading the virus”. Dispersing the units, in space and time, large markets are divided into so-called micro-markets spread over the city. Basically, “instead of you going to the market, the market is coming to your neighborhood”. With longer opening hours, these hyper-local markets are operational at least 5 days a week instead of twice a week to further reduce the concentration of people.

Courtesy of Shift architecture urbanism

The proposal puts in place a 16 square grid, aligned with three market stalls, each selling a different kind of fresh produce. The grid is taped on the pavement and fenced off with standard crush barriers, creating 1 entrance and 2 exits. Each cell can hold one person at a time, to maintain social distancing, and the overall grid can hold a maximum of 6 people. Minimizing the time people spend in the grid, stalls will offer packages instead of separate products. With basic resources, the scheme is achievable with standard traffic and crowd control organized by the municipalities.

  • Proposal and design: Shift architecture urbanism, Rotterdam, NL
  • Team: Thijs van Bijsterveldt, OanaRades, Harm Timmermans, Karolina Kowalczyk, Ema Dunkić 

Courtesy of Shift architecture urbanism
Courtesy of Shift architecture urbanism

We invite you to check out ArchDaily's coverage related to COVID-19, read our tips and articles on Productivity When Working from Home and learn about technical recommendations for Healthy Design in your future projects. Also, remember to review the latest advice and information on COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Shift Architecture Urbanism Creates Hyperlocal Micro Markets that Operate During COVID-19 Shutdowns" 03 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtesy of Shift architecture urbanism

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