Urban Gardening?

Vegetables are conquering the city. Photographs: Annemarie Bucher

Annemarie Bucher, what is urban gardening?

Around the world, urban gardeners, activists and artists are transforming urban wastelands, roofs, empty sites, and other open spaces into flourishing, fruit-bearing landscapes. They are not only changing the shape of cities, but also our awareness of nature, food production, health, habitats, and a lot more. The manifestations and effects of urban gardening are manifold; it emerged in the 19th century as a “compensatory” allotment garden movement, later as “victory gardening” during the world wars, or more recently as subversive guerrilla gardening in the 1970s. In the context of an expanded art practice, which is interfering increasingly in social, ecological, economic, political and other contexts, the horticultural use of urban wasteland and interspaces is a milestone. Through greening and vegetable cultivation, artists are successfully intervening in the complex cycle of the urban environment.

The practice-oriented MAS Art & Society is a continuing education programme dedicated to fields of action in and around art in social transformation processes. Keywords besides “Urban Gardening” include “DIWO Culture” (Do-It-With-Others Culture) or “Art in Action.” Modules take place in Zurich, Hong Kong, Jatiwangi (Indonesia), and Havana.
Dr. Annemarie Bucher (annemarie.bucher@zhdk.ch) is an art and landscape historian. She teaches on the ZHdK Bachelor of Arts & Media. Together with Dominique Lämmli and Lee Chung Fung, she heads the MAS Art & Society. She also runs the Foa-Flux platform with Dominique Lämmli.
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