The idea is to turn passive citizens active in a way that is not forced or painful for them, by integrating community activities/activism into the national past times of shopping, eating and meeting friends.
Step1: Create a happening that gets the general public into the public space.
Step2: Encourage and facilitate for people to take part, interact and connect.
Step3: Within interaction, integrate activities and discussions that build and benefit the community.
Step1: A market is, in itself, a happening that gets people into the public space. The existing Pasar Malam already has a large fan base; the reinvented Pasar Malam just builds on and develops a well-established concept.
Existing Pasar Malam: Lots of people love them. Reasons: temporary, fun, random, “happening”, food, outdoor market like in the old days (reviving the kampong spirit). It seems a lot of people go for the activity of a market rather than the actual products for sale. Problems: lack of staff and high rental (according to organiser).
Step2: Reinvented Pasar Malam: Citizens can take part in a flea/designer market way by selling second hand clothes and bags, their own designs, home cooked food etc. Citizens take active part in community activity (they do it for their own benefit, but outcome is the same.)
Step3: Market facilitates workshops, provides space for interaction (and topics for discussion?), and sets up a stage for performances and jamming sessions. I.e. provides best possible environment for people to connect and community spirit to grow. Step3 accomplished: people learn to recycle and reuse through workshop, discuss important community issues over a shared meal and most importantly: they bond with their neighbours.
Original Pasar Malam remains but expands to include more interaction space, a stage and workshop space. They also provide empty space/stalls for citizens to sell food, second hand items etc.
Some kinds of stalls/activities are set up by the organiser as well as by the public.
- Food stalls
- Vintage/second hand clothes and bags
- Local design items
Some kinds of stalls are only by the public (but website for keeping track of items may be provided by organiser).
- Lend & borrow
Organiser should provide the interaction sections.
- Stage for performance/jamming sessions
- Workshop space and facilitation (upcycling, planting and growing etc.)
- Eating area (for potluck, discussions, recipe sharing etc.) and/or other bonding activity (suggestions see below)
Perhaps the government could sponsor some rental cost for community benefit. Staff issues and wages solved as public will be selling their own things.
The market will evolve over time, as some sections most likely will be more popular with the public than others. But as a market is temporary in nature it will not be a big problem for the organiser to allow for it to change.
The market may become a regular go-to for tips and advice on sustainability and household money saving. It can hold workshops for school children during the day when the market is not open.
The workshops, stage and socialising/discussion space will need some initial input and care in order to communicate to the public what they are.
- There would most likely be a lot of interest in a workshop if it is set up and advertised the right way.
- The same goes for the stage as there are lots of aspiring young musicians in Singapore who would be interested in performing.
- To encourage socialising, here are some thoughts on what could trigger people to talk to strangers (neighbours): potluck (Hao Dinh's dish-in, dish-out), layout like cocktail party, for mingling, playground for kids (parents will talk), exhibiting plans on future development of area.