2. An approach to wholesale market planning & design

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This manual for wholesale market planning and design is aimed at a wide range of users. These may include policy-makers charged with decision making about markets, senior administrators, planners and, in some ways most importantly, technical staff, many of whom may be relatively inexperienced in market development. Although local planning guidance and regulations may be available the manual can act as a supplement to this information, as well as providing material for use by participants of training programmes. Consultants engaged by market authorities may find the manual particularly useful as a check list of the range of issues involved with market development .

Why is it it necessary to plan wholesale markets?

The main purpose in preparing master plans and designs for market facilities is to find solutions which are both functional and efficient, as well as meet budgetary constraints. This means essentially that the employment of consultants to assist in the planning process should make the reaching of appropriate solutions easier as well as saving money for a market authority. A good measure of success would be if the savings in capital and recurrent costs are at least equal to the professional designer's fees.

Economic and appropriate solutions. It is thus important that market developments provide a balanced and affordable programme, applicable to the scale of the particular market, its likely growth and its expected revenues. Emphasis should be placed on finding solutions which are applicable to the resources and construction technology available in the country, minimizing the use of foreign exchange and reliance on technologies which might be difficult to maintain.

Consultation procedures. As well as fulfilling the needs of the market authority, the design solutions will have to be acceptable to all the parties who might be affected by the development. These will include government agencies, producers, market organizations, traders and local communities. During the design process, frequent discussions will need to be held with all the interested parties in order to define development priorities and to evolve a list of facilities which the market might require

(which will form an "accommodation brief" for the designers). Practical operating procedures will need to be formulated and discussions will need to be held to set viable and acceptable levels for the rental, parking and commission charges that the market should adopt. Caution is required in these consultations with traders so that they do not become acrimonious by concentrating too greatly on the financial relationship, to the exclusion of involving them with planning and design issues.

Development objectives

An essential step in evolving the market development programme is to define a clear set of objectives or "goals" which will guide both the policy makers and designers. It is essential that this step is not omitted as only by undertaking full discussions on the project's objectives will the often conflicting needs of the users of the market be resolved. Objectives are likely to be at two distinct levels: national/sectoral and project.

National and sectoral development objectives. These goals are concerned with the benefits of the project to the nation as a whole and to the agricultural and commercial sectors. The goals will tend to be simple statements of national policy, measured by indicators such as: greater per caput consumption of fruits and vegetables; increased production of fruits and vegetables and related increases in producers' incomes; lower consumer prices, with a less variation in seasonal price fluctuations; and reductions in post-harvest losses due to improved marketing and handling practices.

Project-level design objectives. These goals will be concerned with optimization of the operational system and physical design of the proposed market. Typical criteria that are used in assessing the success of a market project are: whether it meets defined minimum physical-space standards; whether it can be constructed within defined cost limits and budgets; and project evaluation criteria, which will relate by means of financial and economic analysis, the project's capital and recurrent costs to the potential returns from tolls and rentals.

Other project-level criteria include whether there are potential savings in market operating costs, for producers, traders and wholesalers, by the introduction of new or improved facilities. These savings can occur from lower handling and equipment costs or more favourable rates for insurance and cartage. Demonstration that such savings might occur will be critical in persuading market users that higher rents and/or market relocation are justifiable.

The development programme should also show that defined levels of operational flexibility can be obtained. These include: immediate needs for day-to-day operational changes; short-range flexibility, reflecting seasonal variations in trade; and long-range flexibility, providing the opportunity for easily extending and changing facilities.

A wholesale market design methodology.

This manual bases the problem of market planning and design on a clear design methodology. Figure 4 provides a diagrammatic summary of the overall process, emphasizing how the stages of the design methodology are part of a linked system. The interactions between the activities are critical. No aspect of the programme should be designed in isolation from the design of other facilities nor be undertaken without the collection of basic data. All aspects of the design should be subject to the same overall planning and financial constraints.

Figure 4 A design methodolgy

A process approach. In preparing a market master plan a process approach needs to be adopted, with distinct outputs occurring at each stage. Within each stage a systematic procedure must be followed. This is essential so that the various professionals involved can have a clear understanding of the roles of others participating in the design process. There are a number of ways in which the overall design process can be viewed: by design stages; functions; levels; or activities.

Design stages. The most convenient way to look at the design process is by the sequence (or stages) in which a design is developed. The first step would usually be a project identification and pre-feasibility study. If the project appears feasible this would be followed by a second stage of detailed design development and a third stage of project formulation and feasibility analysis. The second and third stages are to a large extent interdependent and are likely to be carried out in parallel as they both rely on collection and analysis of survey data, particularly of the actual volumes traded at the market. The fourth stage is project implementation, either for upgrading or relocating an existing market or for the construction of a new market. Chapters 3 - 6 of the manual follow this sequence.

Design functions. Another way of looking at the design process is by identifying the functions and types of professionals who would be involved in the development. The project formulation and feasibility stages are primarily the concern of individuals with backgrounds in socio-economic, institutional or management aspects. Design development is the concern of physical planners and engineers, whilst project implementation will involve project management, architectural, surveying and engineering skills.

Design levels. The stages of the design methodology also reflect various design levels. Project identification is primarily concerned with the broader issues, starting with national policy matters and then considering the sub-regional planning context of the market. In the case of secondary wholesale markets this will be the rural hinterland scale. For terminal wholesale markets the main consideration will be the traffic and land-use problems of the area of the town in which the market is situated. At the detailed design and feasibility stages the planning of the market site and overall building design become important. At the implementation stage the main concerns will be the detailed design of buildings and infrastructure and the procurement of fixed and mobile facilities.

Design activities. For each design stage it is possible to develop a detailed flow chart or check-list, reflecting the design functions and levels mentioned above. These will define the activities that need to be followed in order to arrive at the final plans, budgets and implementation programmes. The pattern of activities that will need to be carried out at each design stage will follow a framework similar to the following:

data collection, which might be from organizations such as government departments, consultants' studies or other published sources;
socio-economic, marketing and engineering surveys;
data processing, by manual and computer methods;
data analysis and synthesis;
the preparation of outline recommendations and sketch designs;
the development of detailed recommendations and designs, including consultations with interested parties. This might entail further data collection, processing, analysis and synthesis, leading to a modification of outline plans and the production of draft final designs; and
after a period of further consultation and final revision the preparation of the final recommendations, budgets and master plans . The output of this final stage might also include the need for further studies and surveys on issues identified during design.

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