I live in Luton, a town with a fair amount of post-industrial space. As I walk through the High Town area, I imagine what might be done with scruffy little plots of land or under-used car parks. Most of them will be built on, as there’s a housing shortage in the area. But maybe some of them can be turned over to urban gardening.
In thinking about what they could be, there are many examples of what can be done. We could look at the guerrilla gardening around South London, Incredible Edible Todmorden, or Detroit’s ‘agrihood‘. And then you’ve got what is perhaps the best example of just how far urban gardening can go: Havana. 90% of its fruits and vegetables are grown within the city.
I’ve written before about the particular circumstances behind Cuba’s food production, and there are good reasons why urban gardening became such a refined art in Cuba. It’s not a project that could be replicated – but it does serve as a kind of gold standard for urban growing. Here’s a video introduction: