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Community Forum: Urban Farmer Markets & Community Development

by The Berks Alliance

Mar 30, 2021

Last Fall, the Berks Alliance hosted a Community Forum focusing on creative placemaking to explore how public spaces can be used to create a more vibrant and inclusive community.  Farmer Markets can be a significant asset in this work.  Pennsylvania is home to well over 200 licensed Farmer Markets.  In many communities they not only provided much needed food access, but they have increased foot traffic and generated development throughout the adjacent neighborhoods.  Farm Markets have helped launch entrepreneurs launch their businesses and encouraged diversity by exposing customers to a variety of cuisines and food uses.

The markets in Philadelphia and Washington are community legends.  Markets in other large cities, such as Pittsburgh and Detroit have helped revitalize core regions of their communities.  But they aren’t only significant in large cities.  In Lancaster, York and Lebanon, urban farmer markets are anchors for their downtown centers.  In Harrisburg, the Broad Street Market has fostered significant redevelopment of the Midtown section of the city.

Berks County has its share of Farmer Markets—Fairgrounds, Kutztown, Leesport, Shillington and Wyomissing.  The City of Reading has a seasonal open-air market on Penn Street.  As does Boyertown.

What role can urban farmer markets plan in community development.  How can they improve food access—foster a sense of place and inclusion—and spur a more vital community? What are the plans for some of these local markets, such as the Penn Street Market?  What challenges do they face?  Come to our Community Forum on April 15th to find out.

When: April 15, 2021, 11:30 to 1 PM via Zoom. Register here.

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