The case studies collection Popular marketplaces: Experiences and reflections for their preservation and improvement compiles nine original contributions that explore different grassroots strategies to preserve marketplaces. This collection was also published in Spanish, titled Mercados populares: Experiencias y reflexiones para su preservación y mejoramiento, as part of an effort to facilitate knowledge exchange and dissemination practices with trader communities. The collection was developed with the support of a network of early-career researchers working with market traders and street vendors in Latin America, Europe and the United Kingdom.

Each contribution analyses strategies developed by trader communities in Bolivia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Spain, and the UK. They foreground the essential work trader organisations do to protect and enhance marketplaces. One of the main objectives of this bilingual publication is to address the expressed interest of marketplace stakeholders in having at hand materials that can inform their actions.

We hope that each case study, notwithstanding their brevity, serves as an entry point to recognise and understand the hard work and longstanding struggles involved in keeping marketplaces running. We also hope that the projects, strategies and initiatives presented in this collection also inspire traders, government officials, local communities, and the general public to build alliances and develop further actions to preserve and improve this critical form of social infrastructure. This is a critical step not only to prevent the displacement of trader communities but also to improve the traders’ working conditions and reinforce the sense of public and community service that popular marketplaces provide.

Popular marketplaces: Experiences and reflections for their preservation and improvement is available on the University of Sheffield’s data repository, ORDA.

The collection

Introduction by León Felipe Téllez Contreras

Resistance and political adaptation

Agency, strategy and resilience: Vendors’ quest to move a market in Plan 3000, Bolivia by Angus McNelly
Adaptation, networks and strategies: Mercado República, San Luis Potosi, Mexico by Claudia Teresa Gasca Moreno

Organisation, alliances and initiative

The right to work, political visibility and the city: Street vendors in São Paulo, Brazil by Felipe Rangel, Ana Lídia O. Aguiar and Fernanda de Gobbi
Partnerships for a local agroecological market network in Buenos Aires, Argentina by María Florencia Marcos
Legislative activism and the inclusion of the public markets in the Constitution of Mexico City by León Felipe Téllez Contreras

Learning from the micro scale

Stall renovation: The mundane management of precious time and space in Cardiff Market, UK by Jack Pickering
Of everyday objects and their social and economic potential: Mercado de Barceló, Madrid by Elvira Mateos Carmona

Recognition and new fronts

Women, markets and the economic life of the urban poor in Cuenca, Ecuador by Diana Loja, José L. León and Luis E. Martínez
Transformation, simulation and imitation of markets in Madrid, Spain, and Sofia, Bulgaria by Stoyanka Andreeva Eneva