In the last decades new forms of urban faming like the “Community Gardens” have developed worldwide. The idea goes back to the Community Gardens in the 70’s in New York City.
“Neighborhood Gardens”, one form of the Community Gardens, have the goal to create a small green space and thereby meet people from the surroundings.
In intercultural gardens, however, specific target groups such as migrants, the elderly or children come and work together on a garden project. In Vienna more and more urban garden projects come into existence:
The first step in guerilla gardening in Vienna was taken by Gartenpolylog.
Gartenpolylog sees itself as a virtual community garden network. Community, neighborhood or intercultural gardens can introduce and link there. Its philosophy is to raise awareness for bio-cultural and cultural diversity in a particular neighborhood. As part of “Soho in Ottakring” the first intercultural neighborhood garden in Vienna was opened in late May 2007 by the philosopher Nadja Madlener and the social worker Ursula Taborsky in “Huberpark”.
Introducing 3 garden projects from Gartenpolylog in Vienna in a short overview:
1. The neighborhood garden “Heigerleingarten”, named after the same street and located in the 16th district, is a project of the association Gartenpolylog. Since 2008 gardening enthusiasts from the neighborhood can together create a grass strip in the street. The project is supported by the city of Vienna.
2. Another 2010 arisen garden project is the neighborhood garden „Macondo”. The project under the name “LIFE ON EARTH” wants to establish available free green spaces to enhance the own initiative of people. Macondo is a village settlement in the suburbs of Vienna and named after a fictional village in the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The inhabitants of Macondo and interested people from outside can plant together and participate in creative designs of the garden.
3. Since 2012 interested residents of the 3rd district “Landstraße”, but also Kindergarden or schoolgroups can grow their own bed of flowers, vegetables and herbs in the neighborhood garden „Arenbergpark”. Gardeners meet there regularly to shape the garden collaboratively and to discuss ongoing activities.
Another community garden is located in the “Kirchengasse” in the 7th district and is building up sinc early 2013. The organization called “Salad Pirates” also deals with urban farming in open areas in the city. As ambassadors of the future economy of the country, the club wants to show the importance of urban farming and encourage contributing.
Guerlilla Gardening is a growing group since 2008 as part of the Kukuma-Network. GGardening is an independent group that is dealing with the theoratical and practical aspect of urban greening and guerilla gardening. Instead of waiting for a political party to give the O.K., they simply start planting on their own, using public spaces to cultivate agricultural crops for their own consumption, taking care that cities are going to be able to manage self-supply in the future.
Projects like these show us that there is a lot of necessity for green, public spaces the citizens can help co-create. Hopefully in the future such groups become better known so we can reshape our city with ecological creativity!
Autor: Simone Honetz
Date: 12 April 2015