Conference Paper

The Production of Contesting Space: Community Gardens and the Cultivation of Social Change

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My aim in this paper is to demonstrate how urban community gardens constitute a form of social struggle that challenges the prevailing political, economic and cultural arrangements of the urban environment. Employing the theoretical framework of Henri Lefebvre, I contend that by means of their production as contesting spaces, community gardens construct alternative discourse and practices. Against the view, shared by radical critics such as ecosocialists, that dismisses the gardens as offering mere individualistic solutions to problematic aspects of urban life or as a matter of lifestyle, I suggest viewing the gardens as a grassroots social struggle aimed at changing the meaning of space in the eyes of its inhabitants. A discourse analysis of the public debate about community gardens was used as the primary methodology for this paper as well as personal interviews with gardeners.

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... The gardens are much more than the sum of their soil and vegetation. They are sites through which many social, economic, cultural and political concerns, especially of underprivileged urban residents, are channelled, articulated and brought forth to the public sphere (Eizenberg, 2004). Provision of urban open spaces is a central issue in urban planning and development. ...
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Urbanization played a significant role in the second half of the 20th century in Turkey. Immigration from rural areas to cities created many problems including green space problems. Municipalities with competence concerning urban planning and management have been unable to provide sufficient open and green spaces for city dwellers. This is true even for the tourist regions of the country. The City of Antalya, located in the Mediterranean coasts, is one of the rapidly growing cities in Turkey as a result of developments in tourism sector in the last two decades. The employment opportunities by tourism investments attracted many people seeking a job to the city. As the urban infrastructure improved, immigration from other parts of Turkey also increased. The rich natural and cultural values of the city played an important role in this immigration. The number of arriving tourists was also gradually increased. In 2004, Antalya received some 6.5 million tourists, equivalent to the 30-35 % of tourists visited Turkey in that year. Open and green spaces have undergone a high pressure in that urbanization process. The results of a recent survey revealed various problems related with open and green spaces in the city. Per capita green space in the city was found 4.4 m², which is a very low figure compared with many European cities, but still higher than some major Turkish cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. Among the reasons of the shortage of open and green are: rapid urbanization associated with immigration, legal gaps, insufficient planning approaches, management problems, etc. In this article, green space problems of Turkish cities will be discussed from legislation, planning and implementation viewpoints in the case of Antalya city.
... They are also considered viable solutions to fight against "environmental racism" 83 and to move toward a fairer distribution of environmental risks in cities. 84 However -and this contributes to the paradox surrounding community gardens analyzed in the previous paragraphs -the flip side of the coin of community revitalization through community gardens is "gentrification" which consists in the rise of property value due to the visual enhancement of a neighborhood and the subsequent displacement of the poorest segments of the population. 85 This relationship is ambiguous. Indeed, community gardening is deemed useful and beneficial in times of economic or political turmoil, as was the case during the Great Depression or the First and Second World Wars. ...
In this significantly revised second edition of Bronwyn Hayward's acclaimed book Children Citizenship and Environment, she examines how students, with teachers, parents, and other activists, can learn to take effective action to confront the complex drivers of the current climate crisis including: economic and social injustice, colonialism and racism. The global school strikes demand adults, governments, and businesses take far-reaching action in response to our climate crisis. The school strikes also remind us why this important youthful activism urgently needs the support of all generations. The #SchoolStrike edition of Children Citizenship and Environment includes all new contributions by youth, indigenous and disability activists, researchers and educators: Raven Cretney, Mehedi Hasan, Sylvia Nissen, Jocelyn Papprill, Kate Prendergast, Kera Sherwood O' Regan, Mia Sutherland, Amanda Thomas, Sara Tolbert, Sarah Thomson, Josiah Tualamali'i, and Amelia Woods. As controversial, yet ultimately hopeful, as it was when first published, Bronwyn Hayward develops her 'SEEDS' model of 'strong ecological citizenship' for a school strike generation. The SEEDS of citizenship education encourage students to develop skills for Social agency, Environmental education, Embedded justice, Decentred deliberation and Self-transcendence. This approach to citizenship supports young citizens' democratic imagination and develops their 'handprint' for social justice. This ground-breaking book will be of interest to a wide audience, in particular teachers and professionals who work in Environmental Citizenship Education, as well as students and community activists with an interest in environmental change, democracy and intergenerational justice.
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Nesta conferência, proferida durante o período em que foi professor visitante na Tunísia e publicada quase vinte anos mais tarde, Michel Foucault parte de sua seminal tese sobre o fato de o século XX ser o século do espaço, a fim de alertar para a importância de uma história do espaço, na experiência ocidental. Diferenciando entre espaço de localização (medieval), de extensão (evidenciado por Galileu) e de alocação (contemporâneo), cabe problematizar em particular a heterogeneidade deste último por referência ao "espaço do fora", conjunto de relações que definem alocações irredutíveis umas às outras. Nesse âmbito, que conta com dois grandes tipos de alocações - utopias e heterotopias -, interessam em especial essas últimas, utopias efetivamente realizadas que o autor "descreve" - em sua "heterotopologia" - como marcadas por seis princípios, explicitados um a um com o auxílio de exemplos inspiradores.
My aim in this paper is to find an understanding of the concept of space which could be used in urban design, but which could also be shared by others with an interest in space. Social scientists, geographers, architects, urban planners, and designers use the term space in their academic and professional involvement with the city. But when they meet each other their discourse seems to be handicapped partly because of a difference in their usage and understanding of the concept of space. I will argue that to arrive at a common platform in which a meaningful communication can become possible, we need to confront such fragmentation by moving towards a more unified concept of space. I will argue for a concept of space which would refer to our objective, physical space with its social and psychological dimensions, a dynamic conception which accommodates at the same time constant change and embeddedness, and that can only be understood in monitoring the way space is being made and remade, at the intersection of the development processes and everyday life.
Título de cubierta: The death and life of great American cities : the failure of town planning Reprinted: 1974
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