International workshop on Marketplaces as urban development strategies

The workshop on Marketplaces as urban development strategies was an international event within the Biennial of Public Space. It took place on May20, thanks to the collaboration of three universities (UVA-Amsterdam, Sapienza Università di Roma and TU-Delft) and the sponsorship of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy.

The workshop was divided in a morning and afternoon session.

The former was in the Nuovo Mercato Esquilino, the case study of the whole workshop. It consisted in a brief keynote by prof. Sophie Watson from the University of Mylton Keynes and a guided fieldtrip into the market to discover its history and the present challenges.


The latter was organized as a World Cafè Session, in which all the participants were divided into three groups and invited to have concrete reflections on three key-aspects of the market as they saw them during the morning session.

Each group had 20 minutes to discuss one of the three questions and then move to the other question/table. This session provided a wide range of solicitations for the discussion also thanks to the presence of the Councilor in charge for the Productive Activities and Innovation of the Municipality of Rome, Marta Leonori.

International practitioners and academics, inhabitants and members of local associations of the Esquilino neighborhood produced a very concrete conversation that worked as a warming up for the next planned workshops to do here in Rome and in Europe.

All the results and photos will be available soon on the workshop website (


Organizers would like to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy to have kindly offered the lunch and the Biennial of Public Space to provide the setting and the frame for this kind of event. More, a big thank you goes also to all the participants and international experts who came to Rome to enrich the experience of the workshop.

Lastly, we wish that the dialogue with the Municipality of Rome can continue as fruitfully as it started.

Freek Janssens, Maria Grazia Montella, and Ceren Sezer

(Pictures by Sara Caramaschi – University of Roma Tre)