some emergent markets

Urban Forest, Part II by Daphne Lasky
July 18, 2010, 8:59 pm
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After our first visit to the Maubert market, I wrote that I loved the relationship between trees and the market stall scaffolding. Having now had a few weeks to investigate this all a bit further, it’s clear to me that trees aren’t just a bit of fun punctuation within a field of market stalls–they’re an essential part of Parisian market infrastructure.

The tree canopy goes a long way in creating a sense of enclosure and protection for the market–turning a plaza into a room. Canopy height can vary quite a bit while still accomplishing this.

Trees that enter the field of market stalls break up continuous patterns, creating individual moments of interest and adaptation. For boulevard-style markets that can continue on for blocks and blocks, this can be particularly important.

In Rome, we saw that market-goers tend to stick to the shade; to encourage shopping, vendors resorted to covering the Campo dei Fiori in XXL-sized umbrellas. Here in Paris, trees provide a nice baseline dappled sunlight. As a result, awnings over Parisian market stalls have less sun-repelling work to do. See how small and translucent they are?

Finally, though we’d been putting together the pieces to this puzzle ourselves, it was a trip to the (otherwise mostly uninteresting) Bourse market that really confirmed our suspicion.