A Thriving Marketplace in Every Neighbourhood

Can you imagine your neighbourhood with a thriving marketplace at its centre?

Find out more about the Local Economy by listening to my video series on Facebook.  Click on the Facebook link in the sidebar.

​The marketplace at the centre of community life is where people go to trade but trade is not the only reason they go there. It’s where they:

Guildhouse marketplace, Fritzlar

Guildhouse marketplace, Fritzlar.  Marketplaces are essentially public places, inclusive, open to all. 

  • visit the library,
  • go for a swim,
  • enjoy a concert (on street or in a concert hall),
  • join in public worship,
  • meet friends and build new relationships …

The marketplace has always been the centre of community life.  Consider the Forum in Ancient Rome, for example.  There you could read the news posted on the wall, listen to politicians, have a bath ...  It seems we have lost this sense of community and economy being one and the same.

The giant corporations, who dominate the shopping streets and malls, are the enemy of local businesses and community, sucking finance from local economies. They centralise shopping in key places to maximise footfall and deprive localities of opportunities for local business.

The Internet is also dominated by corporations but if we are to reclaim our neighbourhood marketplaces we must claim the Internet for the same cause. It can

Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Sheffield

Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield is a leisure destination, up to one hour's journey for 20 million people.  It is a private space, open to all.  To what extent has it taken on the role of local marketplaces?

  • support local economies,
  • encourage collaboration between small businesses in their neighbourhoods,
  • build a local economy movement across the country or even around the world ...

We must work out how the Internet can help rebuild local economies and limit the corporations.

This site will help communication between local businesses and community, voluntary and faith groups; it will show how we can use our online presence to support local economies.

To become a reality, this will need collaboration between many people.

The aftermath of the Scottish referendum in the UK may lead to power devolved from London to the regions. The main political parties will try to control this move to favour the corporations but with a shared vision, local people can build a counter-movement from the grassroots. If our politicians are not able to lead us then, not for the first time in history, the people must lead the politicians.

We can do this when local businesses and voluntary groups work together locally and online to support their local marketplaces.

On this site I am building a community committed to local marketplaces. It will be a resource for people  seeking ideas and know-how. To join in, sign up using the form below.  You can download the free ebook, if you wish.  You will receive a weekly email notice of new posts about the local economy and community development online.  You can comment on any post you read and so build community on this site. 

So, sign up by entering your name and email address in the boxes below:

Community Development is Dead! Long Live Community Development by Chris Sissons

Community Development is Dead!

Long Live Community Development!

This 20 page ebook aims to provoke debate about the future of Community Development. It includes

  • 6 reasons why Community Development has failed
  • a possible future for Community Development taking Local Economy seriously

Don't miss being one of a  growing community who share this vision: a thriving marketplace in every neighbourhood.  Be assured I will never share your details with a third party.

There's always more to think about!

I've prepared significant resources supporting this vision and they can be accessed through the main menu at the top of the page.  I'd be delighted to receive requests for more information or, even better, offers to contribute as a guest author.  To help you make a start, I've prepared two pages on topics I believe are central to the practice of community development online.  Press the buttons to visit the pages!

Non-Directive Consultancy

Non-directive consultancy can help you dream and develop your projects in the local economy. If you would like to know more, press the button.

Changes to Web Design

There have been profound changes to the nature of web design, mostly unnoticed. It’s not at all like you think it is.  Press the button to find out more.