Hochschulseminar - Mythos grüne Stadt
Urban Gardening
Anna Dubis und Lena Müller, 13.01.2015

Private and public horticulture in urban areas, better known as Urban Gardening, is mostly the small-scale, agricultural use of urban land within urban districts and their direct environment. These gardens are a platform for urban ecology, local knowledge transfer, neighborhood design, and intercultural understanding.


But growing food in cities is not a new concept. After the Second World War allotment gardens were planted on brownfield sites and on the edge of rail tracks and industrial plants to ensure food supply. Another predecessor is the Guerilla Gardening which was invented in Great Britain as a means of political protest in 2000. These secret sowing of plants in an urban area was the beginning for plenty of Urban Gardens like the Rosa Rose Garden in Berlin.


It is an unusual trend for this globalized an increasingly virtualized world and the motivations for the jointly organized kitchen gardens are very varied and complex. Firstly, many food scandals in recent time, food crises, as well as environmental pollution cause a return to regional and local potentials and thus the growing interest in this new form of horticultural works. Urban residents want a sustainable and healthy balance of production and consumption, which means they want to plant their food by themselves at the same place they consume it. It is about food sovereignty and the return to the original relationship with nature, meaning going „Back to the Basics“.


Another motivation is that the new gardening operators want to influence the urban space collectively by their own acts, or rather said, with their own hands work. They also want to discover the city as a place of nearby quality of life. It is about a new understanding of urbanity, in which the gardens shall be foremost recognized as a genuine part of urbanity, not as an alternative, and only at last as a place of recovery.


Because of Urban Gardening neglected niches, so called "non-places", become outdoor-social spaces like happened at the Prinzessinengärten in Berlin Kreuzberg, which were created on a brownfield site in 2009. The Prinzessinengärten are, like a lot of other urban gardens, a place of learning, neighborhood and identification. Furthermore, they are a best practical example that this type of gardening can work as a genuine part of urbanity.