Summary of the reading:
The reading starts by looking at the 1970s, a time of property crash, the bankruptcy of the early 1970s financial crisis in New York, which lead to a multitude of unoccupied spaces in the city. It gave way to a spatial movement; people and local communities claimed land that wasn´t theirs, and transformed them into social spaces like gardens and parks, fed up with the government’s inability to act. These spaces were important in creating community action, self organisation, and autonomy. It was an environmental reclamation of space for both social and cultural aspects: “Community gardening meant people taking direct action to transform their environments”. Through this, we see the importance of space and community and the impact it has on urban environments. The reading brings up Guerrilla Gardening, which is essentially an “illicit cultivation of someone elses´s land”, but takes place mostly in urban environments.
1. What importance do you feel community gardens play in an urban context? What do you think they symbolize and what role do they play in the community?
I wouldnt necessarily call community gardering a revolutionalry act. Maybe in our generation, since our exposure to gardens and farm-grown food are so far removed from our notions of where food comes from, i would maybe call it a generational revolutionary act: going against the norm of today and commercial grown food. But I think, rather, that community gardening is a stage in a revolutionary act. I think more and more, we are realizing that the commercial food system that we have in place here in the United States is further and further away from the ideal, and the way counteract, is it to take things into our own hands.
Some More Questions:
- Richard Reynolds writes that guerilla gardening is “illicit cultivation of someone elses´s land”. Do you agree with guerilla gardening? Is it necessary? Why or why not?