Vacant Lot Becomes a Garden

Vacant Lot is an exploration of land use in inner city areas. As part of the London Festival of Architecture some abandoned and derelict patches of land in deepest east end London have been turned into a beautiful oasis of green (vegetables). Forget about allotments--so far away and hard to get to. Instead, seventy individual bags containing in all a half ton of soil have been distributed to form this instant garden. Working with local residents in a subsidised housing project, the architectural firm What If has posed this concept as a possible solution to inner city living. Now, within their individual plots, the participants are tending a spectacular array of vegetables, salads, fruit and flowers.

From an investment of £6 ($12) per person for the seeds, one man has grown 200 lettuces as well as cucumbers, spring onions carrots and beet roots. The vacant lot has become a space for growing food, socialising, picnics and barbecues. And an educational tool as well.

The issue is how to meet the demand for allotments and grow-your-own vegetables in dense urban areas. The answer here has been to take over some neglected areas and work with local people to develop the project. Now Londoner's only grow 2% of their own food, but with the development of more options like this it could increase to 25%. This project raises discussions about the development of London's infrastructure in relation to food, the future of its markets, food distribution and urban agriculture.

As part of the London Festival of Architecture, there will be additional food related events. There will be a lecture about a new urban model for feeding cities, and a day-long conference that will explore how more food growing could be planned for under utilised areas of London. :: London Festival of Architecture
More on Allotment Gardens
:: Victory Gardens: War on Waste
:: Securing the Future of Our Food: Allotments Week
:: How Does Your Garden Grow

Tags: Gardening | London

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