Urban farming and community gardening in New York City

By: Kristian Skaarup, Research Assistant at Gehl Architects

I attended the American Community Gardening Association conference in August 2011 part of which was a visit to the neighbourhoods of the South Bronx borough, one of the poorest districts in the state of New York. Initiatives here offer people living locally the opportunity to participate in gardening programmes. The schemes operate by asking for a  modest contribution of money for which in return they get the opportunity to garden, and take a share of the bountiful harvest. The lack of recreational areas and nutritional problems are endemic in parts of The Bronx borough and this initiative seems to offer a really efficient contribution to a future remedy. In addition the community gardens place a focus on farmers markets – growing crops in the community for the residents with a wider distribution than just those directly involved. During the growing season there is a farmers market every week which draws people into the garden, and whenever there is a participant around the garden is fully open giving other locals and in particular, children the opportunity to see how vegetables and fruits grow in the calm surrounds of these city oases.

Community garden in Bronx placed close beside the railroad

Kids playing in the community garden and watering small plant.

Farmers market in one of the many community gardens in the Bronx

You can read Kristian’s original article in Danish in the physical magazine – read more here

For more check out the documentary Grown in Detroit: 

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