Zoning for Public Markets and Street Vendors

Zoning Practice — February 2009

By Alfonso Morales, Gregg Kettles


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Public markets and street vendors make attractive social and cultural spaces. Whether open air or indoors, they contribute to quality of life, improve access to healthy food or affordable goods, and boost the local economy. Farmers, crafts, and flea markets are tourist destinations as well as a source of day-to-day consumer goods.

Public markets and street vendors can be temporary uses or more permanent responses to consumer demand, economic inequality, and mobility-constrained populations. When properly sited, they provide neighborhood amenities and can contribute to a positive community image. Because of their diversity, these markets and merchants can be powerful tools in the planner's repertoire.

This issue of Zoning Practice places markets and merchants in a historical context, examines regulatory approaches, and makes recommendations for zoning practice.


Page Count
Date Published
Feb. 1, 2009
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Alfonso Morales
Alfonso Morales produces applied and basic research findings on various planning topics including economic development, food systems, housing, and etc. Morales has created a body of books, articles, book chapters, and other writing that provides practical insight into the ways that economic activities and social interactions contribute to and influence community and economic development. He has published in the top journals of six different disciplinary associations. He has been PI or Co-I of more than $10 million dollars in sponsored projects and his new research includes contract work for the Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning and Management at the University of Wisconsin at Madison to understand how campus operations and planning facilitate academic research and teaching. Professor Morales received his graduate degrees from Northwestern University (Ph.D, 1993), the University of Chicago (AM 1989), and the University of Texas at Dallas (MS 1987). He was a Dissertation Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. He has been recognized for his teaching generally and work with communities and students of color particularly. The Health Resources and Services Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, the Ford Foundation, and the American Bar Foundation are among organizations that have supported his research, and most recently was awarded a Vilas Mid-Career award ($50,000) by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gregg Kettles