The guerrilla in the garden/
Author(s)Swartwood, Merran (Merran Elizabeth)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Anne Whiston Spirn.
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Guerrilla gardening is the practice of illicitly cultivating land that does not belong to the gardener. In New York City, it emerged in the context of disinvestment and urban renewal in the 1970s as a means to clean up vacant lots, improve safety, and build social networks within neighborhoods. This study examines contemporary guerrilla gardening projects in New York and addresses the questions of whether guerrilla gardening today can still offer advantages over gardening with permission, and if there are situations in which it makes more sense to garden without permission, versus the alternate position that gardeners should always seek permission to use the land they cultivate in order to protect their interests and investment. The projects studied range from artistic to political, personal to ideological, outside to inside the system of land ownership. They fall along a continuum of sanctioned and unsanctioned work and, to varying degrees of success, exercise strategies of engagement, permission, and advocacy to achieve their goals. Although the importance of permission depends on the context and objectives of a given project, guerrilla gardening offers real advantages: it is flexible, presents a low barrier to entry, disrupts patterns of thought, raises awareness of alternative options for action, and allows actors to learn from experience. These findings raise questions regarding whether and how cities should accommodate such efforts.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 43-46).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.