Market as a Public Space


Market places are not only a commercial gathering place but public spaces with flexible spatial and temporal activities. It is a platform to have a communication between people and goods with respect to economic and cultural aspects. They are considered as an engine for growth of the city. Considering the modern lifestyle of the people where mall culture has dominated in the city, still these kinds of small urban pockets in the city act as a vibrant social space. There are more than ten markets in Hubballi city of which Fish market is one of the dominant markets successfully working from past forty years and this space has its own identity based on the convenient location to all other neighbouring residential areas. Due to the urbanization and uncontrolled growth of the city this market needs upliftment. Which has been addressed to maintain better quality of the public assets.

Keywords: community space, public space, public assets.

Hubballi is the second largest city in Karnataka state and has been identified as one of the smart cities. It is the commercial centre and business hub of North Karnataka region. In spite of having number of retail shops and malls coming up, people in Hubballi still prefer daily markets for daily needs as these markets are rooted in the culture of the city. Hence, they are still sustaining in today’s life. Considering the need and importance of the market places, Hubballi Dharwad smart city limited has taken few of the core market places for redevelopment.

TCE is the PMC for the Hubballi Dharwad smart city limited. Fish market is one of the identified markets in the core city area. The scope of services includes Conceptualisation to Detailed Designs of all the services in the identified project.

About the Project:

Presently it is a combination of both wholesale and retail market owned by Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation with seven and twenty five vendors respectively. This market is working as intracity as well as intercity market for surrounding areas. The fish supply to this market is from Karwar, Ankola , Kumta and Goa and this is supplied to Hubballi and the nearby places as per the demand.

Existing condition of market

  • Because of narrow entrance to the site the trucks are being parked on nearby roads for loading-unloading which causes traffic congestion within the area.
  • Existing selling capacity of the retail market is approx. 6000kg/day by 25 retail shops. Unsold fish quantity is approximately 15-20 kg/vendor/day. (as per the survey conducted by TCE)
  • Wholesale market buildings are in dilapidated condition with no water and toilet facility. There is no space for auctioning, loading and unloading of fishes. There is no proper drainage system designed for the market and the open gutters are seen which creates an unpleasant scene in the market area.

Following are the activities performed in the market area (as per the survey conducted by TCE)

As this market place is acting like a wholesale as well as retail market, transformation of the activities are very evident as mentioned in the activity chart. But according to the site constraints and the local business model it is not feasible to retain both the markets in the same vicinity as it has no proper supporting infrastructural facilities.

Challenges faced:

Major challenges faced was to convince client to segregate both the market places and convert the existing market place to only retail market by shifting the wholesale market to new location. Since the site is located in the highly congested core city area with narrow roads (3-4.5m ROW) the main concern was to plan the vehicular movement without disturbing the existing urban fabric.

New proposal included the following

  • The proposed market has only Retail Market with defined entry and exits with segregation of vendor and visitor circulation.
  • Retail market has basic infrastructure like toilet facility, water connection, and 2 wheeler parking.
  • Fish market has proper lighting and ventilation with odourless and hygienic conditions.

Design of market place:

Unique design features

New proposed market place will create a memorable user experience as well as sustainable hygienic place. This kind of development will always help to restore these small cultural and social pockets of the city.

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