Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gardeners Root For City Patches

Community garden. From
Here I reproduce this article from the Wall Street Jounal. It reminded me the community gardens in Buenos Aires that are not regulated by the City. It’s just a matter of neighbors’ associations, there is no aesthetics involved, just food and the desire to learn how to produce vegetables domestically. In the lowest scale, some neighbors plant their own vegetables alongside the railroad  tracks. With a kind of territoriality feeling, the person in charge of his/her own patch –usually in front of his/her property- installs a short wire fence around, just to mean “ these are my vegetables”. It doesn’t happen in fancy neighoborhoods where the railroad track has trees and paths, like Vicente Lopez. Read about community gardens in New York:
Community garden. From
“ Gardeners came to City Hall Wednesday bearing beets, rainbow Swiss chard, corn, carrots and cabbage. Among their signs: Save the Tomatoes.
"Urban gardens help us feed the concrete jungle," read another.
The gardeners are turning up the pressure in response to the city's proposed rules that will soon govern the roughly 300 community gardens on Housing Preservation and Development or Parks and Recreation land. Their goal is to make the gardens permanent.
A current agreement, reached in 2002 between then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, expires Sept. 17. The new rules, made public last month, have been criticized by gardeners for not going far enough to protect and create gardens.
More than 100 rallied on Wednesday, including Yonnette Fleming from the Hattie Carthan Garden in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. "Community gardens are not a luxury. Community gardens are not an aesthetic item for the city" she said, "Community gardens are the lungs of New York City."
Officials ranging from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe have said that the city has no intention of developing any of the gardens, but the city reserves the right to that land in case it ever needs it for another purpose.
"It's difficult to call anything permanent, including community gardens. Even parks are not permanent," Mr. Benepe said.
"The administration seems to be listening to what we are trying to do, it is opening a door so that now we can move forward and come up with some permanent legislation or resolution that will make community gardens permanent," said Karen Washington, president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition.
Ms. Washington is confident that permanency is possible, through mechanisms like zoning, a long lease agreement or a new legal designation for gardens. Those negotiations are happening parallel to the rules process.
Gardeners are planning to turn out in force for a public hearing on Aug. 10.”
Published at the Wall Street Journal, August 5th, 2010.

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