Social-Distance Shopping: Micromarket Concept by Shift
Architects: Shift architecture urbanism, Rotterdam NL
During the coronavirus pandemic, buying groceries is strictly controlled by the requirements for social distancing. Supermarkets remain open for business under precisely defined precautionary measures, but most are overcrowded. Visiting weekly markets could represent a good alternative, but it is more difficult to control distancing measures, which increases the risk of infection. Visitors often push their way to the stalls; products are handled by many different customers.
With their idea for hyperlocal micromarkets, the architects from Shift want to enable and promote shopping al fresco. A well-thought guidance system allows people to follow distancing rules and reduce the danger of contagion.
With this in mind, these weekly markets will be divided into smaller units and decentralized. As most market stalls are flexible and moveable, it will be easy to implement the plan. About three stalls will form one micromarket. Distributed throughout the entire city, they will be accessible for all citizens in the vicinity. Unlike the usual outdoor markets, the micromarkets will be open not only on one or two days, but five days a week. This will diminish the crowds of visitors.
Simple barrier tape on the ground will mark out 16 areas on a grid measuring 1.50 x 1.50 m. Mobile barricades normally used to block streets, or control crowds at festivals, will delimit the entire area and guide customers to the entrance. No more than six people will be allowed into the market at one time. To ensure social distancing, only one person at a time will be allowed into one section of the grid. On the other three sides, market stalls will enclose the area. Customers can buy fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products here; the salespeople will already have prepared small packets in advance. This will not only keep customers from touching the products, it will shorten the time spent in the grid. When they have made all their purchases, customers can leave the market via two exits beside the stalls.