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Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns

Who likes having someone breathe down on their neck during a long queue? This could be useful after the pandemic too.

We all know that one person who always seems to get up and personal with you during the most mundane times, and unfortunately, the supermarkets are full of those people.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, practicing physical distancing has become especially important. Going out for shopping doesn't mean you are consenting to have everyone's germs on you, and a Dutch design office has a brilliant idea regarding that.

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns
Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

Shift Architecture Urbanism has designed the model of a street market that enables people to buy freshly produced goods without contacting one another amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE ALSO: PHYSICS PROFESSOR EXPLAINS HOW KEEPING A DISTANCE FROM PEOPLE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS SAVES LIVES

These "Hyperlocal Micro Markets", created by Harm Timmermans, Oana Radeş, and Thijs van Bijsterveldt, guarantee the distribution of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish with minimal risk.

Aim: Dispersion instead of concentration

The concept is aimed at decreasing the amount of traveling through the city and limiting the engaged physical contact. The markets are in open-air which is healthier, and if implemented, they could reduce the pressure on supermarkets.

The main idea is to split up the existing food markets and disperse them throughout local neighborhoods. Instead of concentration, the cities can implement dispersion, both in space and time. 

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns
Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

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."

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns
Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

16-square grids to fit any town or city

The design has 16-square grids and each stall has two counters, one for order and one for collection.

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns
Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

They can be implemented to the public squares of any town or city, which is especially crucial during a pandemic.

There is one entrance but two exits and only six people can be in it at one time. 

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns
Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

They can freely move around; however, the only rule is that "only one person can occupy a square on the grid at a time".

It sort of feels like chess when you think about it.

Architects Create Market Design That Ensures Physical Distancing During Lockdowns

Source: Shift Architecture Urbanism

The goods are sold in packages to reduce the time spent by each consumer, and these markets allow people to shop locally.

Since market traders are used to setting up at different locations on different days, setups and shutdowns would be manageable too.

The architects hope that their system can be put into practice by the town or city councils that manage the markets.

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