urban gardening/social innovation and social justice

On the 14th of June, Zappata Romana hosted at the Hortus Urbis in Rome a “col-laboratorium” to discuss with activists, politicians, scholars and social enterpreneurs how urban gardening/social innovation tackles with social/spatial/environmental justice issues and increasing disparities in european cities.
Now working on the feedback, thanks everybody for sharing links, references, contacts (comments if you like) about the topic!

(sorry, video in italian…)


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I remember seeing some impressive data about allotments in the UK. Many people involved, substantial surfaces, probably some non-symbolic production volumes as well.

Yes, in the UK the urban gardening is massive indeed with a major interest in reshaping food production-distribution and consumption chaing, e.g. IncredibleEdible, but is rapidly growing everywhere (only in Rome there are more than 200 urban gardening spots…). And after our scholarly exploration of the political and social justice aspects of gardeining, it’s time for administrators/politicians and planners to aband the idea that urban gardening is just a “pimp your neighbourhood” activity…

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Ha, I love how you described it being seen as a single “pimp your neighborhood” kinda activity. It obviously is not ;). Any thoughts on how to change that narrative more proactively?

Well…the most effective way to advance that narrative more proactively is just by doing it in practice, I suppose. Gardening is only one of the thousand of actions you can adopt to co-create the city as you would it to be. If you network with people in need of a work, with displaced people, with migrant communities etc and brings the margins at the centre of the public space/debate it will immediately become apparent that the narrative need to change. There are several examples for instance in this book and one of my favorite is De Site in Gent

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