From the Ground Up: Community Gardens in New York City and by Efrat Eizenberg

By Efrat Eizenberg

Little-known, and hidden among skyscrapers and extensive avenues, a few 650 neighborhood gardens dot the town of recent York. Set inside of one of many densest and most costly actual property markets, those gardens are attended via a few of the least advantaged citizens of town. city citizens use those areas for horticulture, sport, social gatherings, and creative and cultural occasions. They deal with the gardens jointly and with relative independence from top-down regulate. regardless of non-stop threats from marketplace forces the gardens were capable of thrive as major neighborhood areas because the 1970s.This booklet exhibits how, within the strategy of trying to guard those hugely contested areas, citizens constructed as group leaders and concrete activists. Taking an interdisciplinary method of keep on with the political improvement of city citizens, the publication examines how daily spatial practices, social interactions, the creation of different city house, and the new release of recent city wisdom render neighborhood gardeners into vital social actors within the city scene.The ebook argues that with this technique of construction of house a brand new form of "organic resident" evolves. those urbanites regularly interact with their city atmosphere, locate how you can make the town extra supportive for his or her collective wishes, and bring town of their personal snapshot. neighborhood gardeners as natural citizens declare their correct to the town, act to materialize their imaginative and prescient of the town, and make the most of the distinctive strength of the locale to represent themselves as strong social actors at the city scene.

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Additional resources for From the Ground Up: Community Gardens in New York City and the Politics of Spatial Transformation (Re-Materialising Cultural Geography)

Sample text

Juxtaposed to an urban environment dominated by Western principles of design, the garden makes the surrounding space more familiar. In this space, and because of it, gardeners can relate to their neighborhoods and more fully recognize themselves in them. Moreover, the gardens persist as a “balancing factor” that moderates the excessiveness of the urban experience by symbolically representing a remembered, more familiar, and longed-for open, wild, natural landscape. As Ilya from Iran suggests: “And again, oxygen.

2 The symbolic reconstruction of past landscapes in the space of the garden is also accompanied by the reenactment of past practices and experiences of space. Most stories of urban gardeners included here, like that of Ilya from Iran, include a variety of practices that used to be part of their everyday life in the past and that are afforded again by these gardens. Sam, a gardener from Harlem, Manhattan describes his experience in a similar tone: I come from New Jersey, which is the garden state and I worked on farms and stuff like that in the past; and when I was young, when I was growing up, my parents always had a garden in the backyard and we had a grapevine and peach tree, and we grew collard and pepper and tomatoes and stuff like that; and my mother did a lot of canning of vegetables and fruits and stuff.

15 The two chapters of Part I present the mechanisms by which space becomes central to people’s understanding of themselves and their everyday life. As such, space is constituted as an arena for practices and consciousness that are social and political, and hence go beyond the personal significance of the experience of space. 14 Lefebvre, H. 1991. The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell. 15 Lefebvre, H. 2002. Critique of Everyday Life: Foundations for a Sociology of the Everyday (vol. 2). New York: Verso.

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