We all have been in this situation; a person without any regard for your personal space, getting up and personal with you. And where do you find most of these people? You will find them, unfortunately, at the supermarkets. The same supermarkets where we have to go and get groceries from during this COVID-19 outbreak! Fear not though, Shift Architecture Urbanism is here to save the day.
Making sure that there’s an appreciable physical distance between you and everyone else has become critical during this pandemic. Just because you are going out to buy groceries doesn’t mean that you are agreeing to have everyone’s germs on you. That is where a Dutch design office, Shift Architecture Urbanism, comes in with a brilliant idea.
Shift Architecture Urbanism has come up with a model of the street market that allows people to purchase freshly produced items without having the need to come in physical contact with one another. These ‘Hyperlocal Micro Markets’ have been created by Harm Timmermans, Oana Rade?, and Thijs van Bijsterveldt. They guarantee that the distribution of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, and fish can be carried out with minimal risk.
The goal of these hyperlocal micro markets is to conduct dispersion instead of concentration. This concept by Shift Architecture Urbanism focuses on reducing the amount of traveling that needs to be made through the city while limiting the engaged physical contact. The markets are located in open-air thus are healthier and can help reduce the pressure on supermarkets. The primary goal is to split up the current food markets and then disperse them throughout the neighborhoods. The cities would then be focusing on dispersion both in space and time.
Shift says, ‘This is done by breaking down the large markets into so-called micro markets that are spread over the city and opening them up for a longer time. Instead of going to the market, the market is coming to your neighborhood.’ The design features 16-square grids and each stall features two counters – one for order while the other for collection. There is only one entrance but two exits and only six persons can be in it at any given time.
These six people can move freely around but must observe only a single rule, ‘only one person can occupy a square on the grid at a time.’ The architects are hopeful that this particular system can be implemented by the town or city councils that are managing the markets.