Chapter 4. The market master plan

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In this chapter the survey data and projections described in Chapter 3 are applied in the preparation of a market master plan. The organization and components of typical market layouts are discussed in terms of the suitability of different layouts, the zoning of specialised activities in the market, the market's traffic circulation pattern, its relationship to adjacent uses and the potential conflict with traffic flows. The chapter concludes with case studies comparing the different types of problems that are likely to be encountered in developing an overall market programme and in preparing site layouts.

Preparation of a market master plan

The stage after completing surveys is the preparation of a market master plan. This consists of two components: an overall layout (which may be supplemented by additional detailed drawings - for example, of infrastructure and individual buildings) and a written statement of the plan's intentions. including its phasing and costs. Why is it necessary to prepare such a market master plan? The master plan is a synthesis of all the factors that influence the management and operation of the market. A good plan reflects these factors well and will provide the maximum benefit for the minimum investment. A bad plan does not and is thus a hindrance to the market's operations.

The types of questions that need to be considered in making this synthesis and evaluating a market master plan are summarised in Box 8. These questions raise issues involving a complex interaction of economic, social, physical and institutional factors. For convenience, they can effectively be defined by looking at the market master plant using four fundamental principles:

Questions to be considered in a market master plan

1. does the plan provide the basis for creating an attractive and comfortable environment for shoppers, which will allow the market to compete with other retail outlets?
2. does the plan reflect the perceived needs of the market users?
3. is the market suitable for the income and expenditure habits of the existing and potential users?
4. does the plan reflect the market's overall management system?
5. are the financial constraints under which the plan will have to operate recognized?
6. are minimum development standards applied? (e.g. health standards)
7. does the plan observe the general principles of good layout?
(such as the relation to climate, site geometry, optimum stall size and simple circulation patterns)
8. does it provide sufficient space for vehicle parking, including cycles and motorcycles?

In themselves these general principles will not result in a master plan but will produce a set of conditions that the plan should follow and will enable a "design brief" to be prepared. This will be followed by the planner and engineer in preparing market layouts and designing buildings. In doing this, the planner and engineer will be influenced by a number of additional factors:

FIGURE 30 Development of a rural village market around shade trees, Ghana

Source: Alcock, A. E. S. & Richards, H. M. (1953). How to plan your village. Longmans Green and Co., How to Build Series, London.

This interaction of the site conditions with the design of buildings and infrastructure is explained in greater detail in Chapter 5. The "clients" of a market project (which might include a local authority, traders, etc.) should examine the market layouts critically on the basis of the questions raised in Box 8 to see if the plans fulfil the requirements set down in the design brief. Only one solution to any design problem is unlikely and the client would expect to be presented with a number of alternative layouts so that the most appropriate one can be chosen.

General Principles Of Market Layouts

The general principles which should guide the preparation of a market master plan are:

The process of market development

One of the first issues that will arise in developing a market master plan will be the question of what type of facilities should be provided. In making projections of need in Chapter 3 this issue was raised in general terms. At the planning stage it will need to be re-examined from a narrower economic viewpoint, i.e. whether the proposed infrastructure investment (assuming funds are available) is likely to be covered by the expected revenues. This will depend on two factors: the expected growth in the market's volume of trade; and the value of that trade. Low income and low growth will not support large investments, whilst with increasing income growth and accompanying demographic change a reasonable expectation might exist that investments in market facilities may be viable.

The most convenient way of looking at this problem is to view market development as a process responding to need. Thus, the process might start with the development of an open street market with temporary stalls, progressing to the construction of simple sheds for retailers. Assuming that sufficient land is available, the market might gradually provide more specialised facilities, justifying the provision of a main covered market building.

The development of a market site is, therefore, a process which could be initiated with the provision of quite basic facilities. Figure 30 shows the evolution of a small rural market, which was started with the construction of a perimeter wall. paving and rubbish collection facilities. Subsequently, covered stalls were built when they could be afforded. A similar kind of model could be developed for a new market in an urban suburb.

The extent of enclosure a market offers will be one of the fundamental issues to address in the market master plan. As suggested above, this is partly a question of affordability and the stage of development of the market. It is also, however, a question of the convenience of the market to its users, in which case, a simple market structure might be the appropriate long-term solution. The retail fish market in Bruges, illustrated in Figure 31, for example, is effectively a "planned" open street market, but with the sales areas roofed-over with a permanent structure. Many fruit and vegetable markets in Spain and Italy use a similar approach. The basic point to remember is that the higher the standard of enclosure the greater the cost of both buildings and internal servicing. The question of market structures is discussed further in Chapter 5.

Another factor influencing the process of market development is the degree to which specialized uses (which are further discussed later in this chapter) should remain in a general market or whether they would be better served at another location. Meat markets, for example, are often located adjacent to an abattoir or slaughter slab, rather than near a food market. This may be particularly important with offal and blood products (such as blood sausages) the sale of which should be closely supervised by public health officials.

The question of segregating assembly and wholesaling functions is a more difficult one. Few rural assembly markets are exclusively for bulking-up produce and many assemblers are also retail traders and suppliers of credit. Farmers bringing their produce to assembly markets are often also using the markets' retail facilities. The mixture of retailing and wholesaling in urban markets raises similar problems. For cities of over half a million inhabitants (and certainly over a million) it will be essential to separate the functions as the problems of traffic management will become insurmountable. However, the mixture of wholesale and retail functions in smaller markets can be viable, particularly if the functions are separated by time, i.e. the wholesaling function occurs early in the morning before retailing starts. Again, the same functionaries may perform both tasks.

Vehicle access and traffic circulation

Vehicle access to serve markets is essential for the efficient movement of goods and the people delivering and purchasing them. With a small rural or urban market this may be achieved by a road through the market area (i.e. a street market) or by a perimeter road around the market site (the typical market square). For larger markets a higher level of access will be needed and this is preferably obtained by a system of looped roads which are neither short cuts to other destinations nor dead-ends (such as cur-de-sacs). To avoid traffic conflicts, junctions of the loop roads to main roads should be T-junctions (i.e. having only three potential collision points compared with the 16 that occur with cross roads.) The T-junctions should be as near as possible at right angles so that maximum visibility at corners is obtained.

In preparing plans for the central area of towns it is frequently the practice to separate cars and pedestrians' particularly where there is a reasonably high traffic density. However, total pedestrianisation rarely works and the most intense urban activities tend to occur where the two systems meet. An alternative approach is to develop a system of intersecting pedestrian paths and roads, with the paths roughly at right angles to the roads. In Arab countries, for example, this intersection is often marked by a precinct and a gateway forming the boundary between the two traffic systems (e.g. Shibam in Southern Yemen, the suqs in Sana'a and in Rabat, Morocco,). In Medieval Europe, this point was often marked by a market cross. Details of pedestrian sidewalks are discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

The interaction between pedestrian and vehicular circulation in an urban market place is illustrated in Figure 32. Visitors' vehicles are parked in separate parking areas. Delivery vehicles have direct access to the market stalls, but to reduce the impact of traffic in the market area it is normal practice to arrange for deliveries to be made during a restricted period before trading starts (usually the early hours of the morning) and for rubbish collection and cleaning-up to be undertaken at the end of the working day. Traders are sometimes allocated separate parking for their vehicles, usually in an area from which the general public is excluded. Special road signs indicating who is allowed to park and at what time parking is permitted are frequently needed as part of a market development programme.

The relationship of the market site to access is equally relevant in the case of rural areas. Figure 33 illustrates two examples of markets integrated into rural villages. In both these cases, lorry parking is provided adjacent to the market area. The relationship of the market to bus stands and petrol filling stations is also important and ideally all these facilities should be located in a nearby area.

The market as a public space

Markets, particularly street markets and market squares, were traditionally part of the main system of open spaces of cities and towns. With new development areas, provision should also be ideally made for such public spaces. However, like their traditional counterparts they need to be properly defined. The market layout should not be disorienting and it is thus necessary to arrange the circulation system so that there is a hierarchy of spaces, with at least one major space, which might be the main market square or street, off which there are minor spaces serving other functions.

Partial enclosure of spaces, by arcades, plants or buildings, generally makes them more comfortable to use. A common mistake is to make the market space too large as empty spaces are not conducive to providing an atmosphere favorable to selling. A pedestrian network must feel lively if shoppers are to be encouraged to use the facilities. Simple standards that can be adopted are that the maximum dimension or diameter of a space should be 20 to 25 metres and the density of usage of the space should be not less than 15 to 30 square metres of public space per person. A good rule of thumb for the proportion of minor pedestrian routes is to try and make the width not to exceed the height of the surrounding buildings.

Equally important to ensuring that the space feels lively is that there should be activities occurring around its edges (e.g. such as the opening up of small-scale shops fully to the street) and that the centre of any larger space has some form of central focus such as a fountain, clock tower or public notice board. Usually, retail markets are fringed by smallscale individual shops - which can be little more than stalls enclosed by permanent infrastructure. Such shops can be as small as 5mē. The intention should be to make the units available at low rentals so that they can be afforded by local entrepreneurs, thus encouraging the retention of wealth created in the community.

A common feature of many traditional market spaces is the provision of facilities such as seating for people to rest whilst shopping. Space also often needs to be provided for carnivals, street musicians, dancers and other outdoor events. Typical examples are the fairs at Indian tribal heats, mariachi bands in Mexico and carol singing in Christian cultures. There is frequently a conflict with local regulations and police authorities in allowing such events (on the argument that they obstruct sidewalks or encourage loiterers) and the best approach is often to provide a specified location. such as a raised platform or bandstand, where the events can take place.

Essential components of any market are places, such as cafes and food stands, where both traders and shoppers can sit and relax. Such stands provide inexpensive food and the employment they give can be of critical importance for providing incomes to families who would find it difficult to find other forms of work. Food stands need to be concentrated at crossings of roads and paths to maximize trade. They are typically either portable stands or small huts, or are built into the front of buildings and may be owner-operated or franchise operations.

As has been highlighted above a market must be conducive to the act of buying and selling. A busy market always gives a better impression than one that is under utilized. The continuing attraction of street markets in Europe, for example, is that they provide vibrant and interesting places to shop. The main city square in Brno (Figure 34) illustrates how a major public space can be utilized as a market by using temporary/mobile facilities. Investment in improving such spaces is normally confined to improving paving and ensuring that basic infrastructure (such as a water supply, toilets and garbage disposal facilities) is available. These issues are further discussed in Chapter 5.

The organization of market land uses

The master plan will provide a method for organizing a range of different land uses on the site. These may include: retailing of fresh produce; assembly of produce; wholesaling by farmers and vendors; meat and fish sales; and the retailing of other goods such as clothes and utensils. In addition to zoning of uses, there will also be a number of other factors which will need to be taken into account in organizing the market site.

Grouping of sales outlets: one of the basic questions a plan will need to address is whether retailers selling the same products should be grouped together. If stalls are laid out randomly then impulse sales will be promoted, but it will be more difficult to create a competitive selling environment and consumers will not be able to perceive differences in quality and prices. However. if retailers are grouped by line of products, competition will be greater. which will be more beneficial for the consumer. On balance. the grouping of specialised uses is the more effective method. Some uses may not be compatible with each other (e.g. a repair workshop with a butcher's or fishmonger's stall) and they should be located in different sections of the market or at least separated by a main path or aisle.

Customer flow: the main arrival point of customers will influence the location and grouping of stalls. In open markets, customers will often come from a main point such as a bus stop or from the direction of a more densely populated area. With covered markets there is usually a main entrance from a main street. In both cases, it is preferable for staple products to be located away from these approach points so that customers can be drawn into the market. With street markets, for example, it is common for fruit and vegetable stalls to be located in the centre of the market area.

Facilities for temporary vendors: in many markets, there are in addition to the permanent retailers, temporary vendors, (often producers) operating during some days of the week or during a limited season. To maximise market convenience for users on non-peak days, it is better to group together sellers operating regularly (i.e. those on long-lease arrangements) and assign them fixed locations. Separate spaces can be allotted to temporary vendors. In this case, and where there are small-scale vendors, it will be necessary to have some form of management system which is able to issue temporary pitch licences.

Facilities for small vendors: small vendors often operate in the area surrounding a market, causing congestion and competing with the permanent retailers It is not desirable to evict them as they would lose their means of livelihood. They should, however, be required to pay daily or weekly market fees and ideally, be allocated space in the market so as not to obstruct the movement of customers and so as to maintain minimum public hygiene standards.

Marketing of live animals: because of the risks of damage, accidents and disease transmission, livestock has no place inside a food retail market. whether it is open or covered. If it is necessary for livestock to be associated with a market then it is necessary to provide a special outside enclosure' with its own water supply. Poultry can be admitted to covered markets if there is no possibility of erecting a separate special building. In this case. the birds should be grouped in a well-ventilated area, close to the exits and should be kept in cages. In order to avoid disease among poultry, their stalls should be separated by solid masonry walls and the hygiene of the birds closely monitored.

FIGURE 35.Typical layouts for small-scale rural retail markets in West Africa

Source. Drew, J. R., Mexwell Fry. E. and Ford, H. L. (1947). Village housing in the tropics. Lund Humphries, London.

FIGURE 36 0.8 hectare central market site with 50 shops and 0.275 hectare paved open market area, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Source: Aloi. R. (1959). Mercati e Negozi. Ulrico Hoepli Editore Milano.
1. open market stalls
2. shops
3. meat and fish
4. public toilets
5. paved market area
6. parking
7. fountain
8. petrol station

Organization of simple markets: in even the simplest markets some consideration has to be given to organising the provision of facilities. Figure 35 illustrates the organization of small and medium-size rural markets. All the facilities that are serving the whole market area, such as latrines? rubbish bins and price boards should, as far as possible, be centrally located so that they are easily accessible. With larger markets, the facilities will need to be located at a number of points in the market. Box 10, in Chapter S. indicates standards for the walking distance to such facilities.

Zoning and mixed use: many markets combine the use of open and enclosed facilities. Essentially, the permanent traders use permanent facilities and the visiting traders use open areas. Figure 36 illustrates three zones of use: fixed shop units; open stalls (roofed); and a paved market square used by casual traders. This market also illustrates the principle of zoning in markets - the meat and fish shops being grouped into one location. Figure 37 shows a more extreme example where there are no open sales areas and where all the facilities are provided under cover in a circular fruit and vegetable market and a separate fish market (also illustrated in Figure 57). In this case, the only other land uses in the market site are the road system and associated parking areas. Even with this extreme example the circulation areas take up at least 60 per cent of the total site area. This is equally true with the market illustrated in Figure 36, if the roads surrounding the site are taken into account.

Market Layouts: Case Studies

There are effectively three different situations which can be met in any market development: redevelopment or relocation of an existing market, conservation/rehabilitation of an existing market (i.e. the physical form of the market stays essentially unchanged); and a new market development. All these cases can be met in both rural and urban areas, although perhaps the second case is less likely in a rural area. The following three examples compare the problems likely to be met and how the general principles outlined above are incorporated into the layouts.

FIGURE 37.Site plan of covered fruit/vegetable and fish retail markets, on 0.65 hectare site, Sidi-bel-Abbes, Algeria

Source. Aloi, R. (1959). Mercati e Negozi. Ulrico Hoepli Editore Milano.

1. fruit and vegetable market
2. fish market
3. control
4. parking


Redevelopment of a market area can result from a number of circumstances, the most common of which is that the present site is needed for an alternative use. The difference between redevelopment and a new market is that with redevelopment the new market will have to accommodate the needs of the existing users and will have to fit into the constraints imposed by an existing street pattern. Figure 38 illustrates a market redevelopment resulting from war damage. Rather than reinstating an existing street market' an opportunity was taken to rationalize the whole pattern of shopping in the area. A new open market square was created, with an adjacent covered market, surrounded by new shop units with rear servicing. Both the shops and the market became part of a new system of pedestrian paths and precincts.

In many cases, however, such radical changes to the traffic circulation system of an existing site may not be possible. particularly where a market area has developed as an uncontrolled extension around a spontaneous market. In addition' high land values may prevent the acquisition of further land for extending a market site. In these circumstances, a shift of the market to a green-field site may be necessary - with all the problems this may present in terms of trader resistance.

Conservation and improvement

As an alternative to the complete redevelopment of a site, Figure 39 illustrates a market development in the Caribbean based around the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing covered market buildings. In this case, formal shopping areas were not significant and in the rehabilitation of the market area an opportunity was taken to develop new, but separate' meat, fish and handicraft markets, as well as additional "temporary" stalls for fruit and vegetable sales. Site access was also improved and a new bus terminal created. A similar approach was used in the rehabilitation proposal for Zanzibar shown in Figure 23.

New development

The conditions for the creation of a new market are either that a market is needed to meet new population growth, typically requiring a market to be developed in a suburban area of a city on a reserved green-field site, or that a market is developed as part of the central area of a new town.

Figure 40 is an illustration of the latter. In this case, a market square was used as the focus of the new development - in recognition of the fact that the migrants to the new town were coming from London, where street markets for fresh produce were the dominant pattern. Again, the market area is integrated into the general shopping and open-space system for the new town. Vehicle access is generally from the rear of the surrounding shops, via service courts and parking areas.

Choice of approach: new versus improved markets

Any intervention in the marketing system will rely on knowing where the existing and future customers will be coming from and what will be the prevailing level of prices in the market. Catchment areas are not homogeneous and the attraction of markets decreases with distance. In comparing new markets to existing ones, therefore, there can be a number of significant differences:

a) existing or redeveloped markets in existing urban areas will not have such a high demand for parking spaces as new markets as they will already be served by public transport,. Local markets may only be serving a limited catchment area, which for low-income consumers may typically be within five to fifteen minutes walk from the market;
b) rural markets will also have catchment areas which are defined by bus routes (or sometimes short river journeys) and by walking distance, but this may be up to one hour's walk (i.e. 5 to 6 kilometres); and
c) new suburban markets may have higher-income users (with corresponding higher private vehicle ownership levels) but will tend to be in direct competition with suburban shopping centres and other out-of-town facilities. Competitive pricing in the market will therefore be critical - suggesting that low rents and minimum investment levels will be as equally important as they would be with more centrally located facilities.

Another issue to consider is that a project for a new or upgraded market will not interest market users unless they have participated in the design of the project and clearly perceive that the development will bring advantages. Participation should occur at two levels: at the general planning stage the planning authority should ensure that residents' (consumers) needs are addressed; and at the level of the market the full participation of the traders should be sought.

Even with such a dialogue, conflict may still occur and the fact that the new facilities are clearly an improvement may not be sufficient inducement. Retailers may refuse, for example, to transfer their activities to a new market if their new stalls are smaller than in the old market.

TABLE 4.1 Comparative features of generic market layouts

Layout principle Characteristics
Street markets:  
1. development process simplest type of market to develop in both urban and
ruralareas as it makes use of existing infrastructure
Iow level of investment
2. access/circulation potential traffic management problems. Easiest to manage
with dedicated pedestrian street or with stalls arranged
along a single side of the street.
most disruptive if located on cross roads
generally good access for public transport
3. use as public spaces close integration into the fabric and functions of a town or
4. site organization cannot be easily managed as a separate facility
storage and security are usually problems
not appropriate for use as rural assembly markets or urban
wholesale markets
zoning of uses has to be included in licensing arrangements
5. other features Market squares: integration with mobile outlets easy
unable to operate effectively in bad weather
easy to relocate facility to another site
1. development process requires a dedicated public square to be available
more typical of urban areas and large villages
transition to permanent facilities possible
2. access/circulation delivery access from roads bounding square easy
separate parking area required near exit of square or on
adjacent sites
3. use as public spaces forms a natural focus to urban areas
other urban functions such as parks and sitting areas can
be integrated into the market layout
multiple use of space possible after market hours
4. site organization small squares - customer circulation on outside
Iarge squares - customer circulation on inside
easier to manage than street markets but security and
storage are still problems
5. other features easier to arrange for the accommodation of temporary users
and for the provision of semi-permanent stalls

TABLE 4.1 Comparative features of generic market layouts

Layout principle Characteristics
Open markets:
1. development process special site required
modest investment costs
degree of roof coverage can be phased
mobile facilities can still be accommodated
2. access/circulation possible to arrange special delivery access systems and
dedicated parking areas
3. use as public spaces does not function as a fully integrated urban space
4. site organization full management control usual
some degree of decentralized management possible
specialised market facilities can be easily provided
appropriate for use as rural assembly markets or urban
wholesale markets
5. other features can accommodate temporary users and make provision for
semi-permanent stalls
level of climate control depends on extent of roof coverage
Covered markets:
1. development process special site required
high investment costs, requiring high turnover
suitable only for high density urban areas
difficult to allow for growth and change
2. access/circulation separate dedicated parking areas should be provided
internal delivery to stalls may require special produce
handling facilities
3. use as public spaces does not usually function as a fully integrated urban space
4. site organization completely centrally managed environment
zoning of uses integrated into the design of the building(s)
difficult to accommodate temporary users
5. other features full weather protection
high running costs, particularly for building maintenance

Practical training sessions may be needed to demonstrate that the new stall arrangement will enable them to store and display more products than before and to achieve higher levels of sales.

Comparative features of market layouts

Table 4.1 summarises the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the four main generic types of market layouts, based on the principles discussed earlier in the chapter. Except for new wholesale markets and covered markets in central areas, "pure" market layouts are in reality uncommon and most markets (as shown in Figures 38 to 40) are mixtures of the generic types, i.e. they may contain an open square with stalls, combined with covered market buildings

FIGURE 40. Market Square

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