Project: Moving Market Places

Acronym MMP
Duration 31/05/2019 - 25/11/2022
Project Topic The “Moving MarketPlaces”(MMP) project aims to gain in-depth insights into the place-making capacities and mobility practices of merchants across four European countries (United Kingdom/the Netherlands/Switzerland/Spain), in order to create a better understanding of the (dis)continuous mechanisms behind the production of marketplaces as inclusive public spaces. While previous studies concentrate on how specific urban marketplaces are experienced and consumed, MMP adds a crucial layer to the understanding of marketplaces by focusing on the actors that make marketplaces work: the merchants. Through their mobility between periodic markets, they can be seen as social-cultural brokers that help to transform marketplaces into inclusive public spaces. Particularly based on our conceptualisation of place as a coming-togetherness of different temporal-spatial trajectories, MMP builds a strong historical anchorage to understand the everyday practices of merchants. We thereby relate typical (the urban/superdiverse marketplace) and a-typical case studies (the country town and not-so-spectacular marketplace). In so doing, MMP does not only put forward a historically sensitive analysis of contemporary dynamics, we also connect conceptual discussions on ‘urban’ superdiversity and ‘urban’ public space to the dynamics in smaller towns that have their own lived dynamics of globalisation. Moreover, with our innovative translocal research design that combines in situ research (place perspective) with the actual following of merchants to other trading destinations (mobility perspective), we create pioneering empirical insights into the ways merchants act as social and cultural brokers within and between different marketplaces and we also enhance our understanding regarding the institutional barriers they encounter (institutional perspective). Particularly based on an early and continuous collaboration between its academic and associate partners, MMP promises to translate its main findings into concrete guidelines for city planners, wardens and other place-makers regarding the question how convivial social infrastructures can be sustained in order to promote more inclusive societies in Europe.
Website visit project website
Call HERA Joint Research Programme “Public Spaces: Culture and Intergration in Europe”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Open University Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Radboud Universiteit Partner Netherlands
3 Université de Neuchâtel Partner Switzerland
4 Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona Partner Spain