Shanghai will start taking registrations for night food stalls around May as it explores building its own version of Taiwan’s famous Shilin Night Market.
A trial run for the new markets will start around summer or autumn, but it will take some time before they become a permanent feature, said Gu Zhenhua, deputy director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.
The food stalls and vendors will be settled in Minhang, Jiading, Zhabei and Putuo districts and other areas to avoid traffic congestion in downtown, but Gu assured that they won’t be very far from downtown and will be accessible by public transport.
The markets will be managed by a third party.
There have been lots of discussion on whether night markets should be completely done away with after a crackdown on the popular Pengpu night market in Zhabei District at the end of last year. The market was blamed for massive traffic congestion forcing buses to make a detour, while neighborhood residents complained about noise.
Some people are of the opinion that the night food stalls should remain as they are part of the city’s civil culture but have maintained they need to be better managed.
Unlike the illegal vendors, the registered food stalls will be issued sanitary certificates with access to water and electricity, Gu said.
He said Shanghai will study the mode of some well-developed night markets, like the Shilin Night Market in Taipei, as a reference to the future development.
According to a draft plan issued by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration to regulate the night markets, the district authorities will be asked to find suitable spots to set up the stalls and vendors can register with them.