Making Space for Food Carts

Food carts can play a role in urban design.

PDX food cart - dane brian - flickrIt’s been a while since I’ve written about food carts in the Northwest. Here’s the brief recap: Portland is the regional leader, with varied, affordable options across the city. Seattle and Vancouver have catching up to do—staunch restrictions by both cities have discouraged food carts in the past.

But both cities are finally hopping on the bandwagon: Seattle has been working to repeal some of the stricter restrictions that discourage carts (although many of the new wave of carts are still a bit spendy and upscale compared to their Portland brethren), and Vancouver has been creating more dedicated spaces.

Today I came across this great article on incorporating food carts into urban design from last week in Vancouver’s re:place Magazine. Here’s the gist:

Kiosks are an opportunity to increase richness in our urban fabric, promote experimentation and deliver goods/services in walkable locations while providing economic development. Urban designers and planners should consider them in their plans, and look for ways to encourage innovation in kiosk design and placement.

The article goes on to compare food carts in Portland to those in Accra, and encourage planners to think about the role of food carts in our cities. On second thought, just go read it for yourself.

Food cart photo courtesy of Flickr user dane brian under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments

  1. Kelley Roy says:

    Look for Cartopia: Portland’s Food Cart Revolution – a book about how and why Portland’s food cart scene has exploded over the past 5 years. City’s around the country will be able to use the book to advocate for smart food cart policy (or lack thereof). Release date October 2010….feel free to email [email protected] for more information.Kelley

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