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Braga adds food court to its market, with a nod to sustainability

Braga adds food court to its market, with a nod to sustainability

'Mesa na Praça' will feature high-quality cuisine, while creating opportunities for the local economy

From 5 August, the Praça Municipal Market of Braga has a food court called 'Mesa na Praça' (meaning ‘a table at the Square’). The space aims to give even more life to the recently renovated Market and contribute to a new vivacity of this area located in the centre of Braga.

In Portuguese Praça means ‘city square’ and this is now the official name of the local market since this is how it had always been referred to by locals. In fact, many details in the conception of the remodelling point to an insistence on part of the designers and administration to foster stronger links with the community and residents, without whom the market would just be an empty space.

Catering and produce spaces will complement each other

The management of the new city market has said that they did not just want the old market space housed in new premises. Instead, they opted for recreating a space that serves the need of the people and responds to their demands.

That means that this public space should also act as a regulator of competition and prices and a stimulator for the local economy through the offer of a space where agricultural producers, catering and tourism services can meet.

In that sense, the addition of the food court section helped to create around 60 direct jobs and 100 indirect ones.  The offer is diversified and combines innovative concepts in sync with Braga's culture and traditions, thus enhancing an ecosystem that creates value for all stakeholders.

Sustainability and connection to merchants and the community are very present concerns in this space. For example, services here do not use plastic materials and the restaurant operators will have to make at least 20% of their purchases from local merchants. The ´Mesa na Praça´ also aims to be a stage and showcase for local artists – adding yet another layer to inclusivity.

It is no surprise that the developers have described their idea as the recreation of what the ancient Greek agoras were for residents – meeting places for communal life and cultural exchange.

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