Gardening is about people! Case studies about urban gardening in Brussels between commons and degrowth [working paper]


Elisabetta CANGELOSI,, 2013

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Summary :

Although urban-gardening is not recent (the first- the Liz Christy Community Garden- grew up in Manhattan in 1973) urban-gardens are getting more and more presents all around Europe and their importance as a matter of resilience is notably growing. This paper is part of research plan (in progress) on the idea of commons in social movements involved in degrowth, re-appropriation of city spaces and based on participation and cooperation; furthermore, because of the connection between urban-gardening, resilience and degrowth, this presentation belongs to larger and a particularly timing analysis on commons and degrowth. The specific aim of this contribution is to present how the idea of commons is part of the discourse of urban-gardeners in Brussels. In fact the discourse about the commons is increasingly relevant in the political and social arena and it seems to be permeating different fields of activism. Despite its importance, however it is yet not defined and the interaction between different disciplines can contribute to its development. Urban-gardens, and Brussels’ ones particularly, offer good material: on the one hand urban-gardening is an “old” social experience where the idea of commons is recently incorporated, which makes paradoxically easier to understand how and why it became relevant; on the other hand Brussels is a perfect location because of the high number of gardens and because of his peculiar international but also local condition. The idea of commons among Brussels urban-gardeners, explored thanks to the data collected, will be presented, analyzed in relation to different approaches and, when possible, compared with information coming from other cases.

Sources :

Università degli Studi di Bergamo