Participatory Design and Self-building in Shared Urban Open Spaces

Community Gardens and Casitas in New York City

  • Carolin Mees

Part of the Urban Agriculture book series (URBA)

About this book


The book investigates the development of community gardens with self-built structures, which have existed as a shared public open space land use form in New York City’s low-come neighborhoods like the South Bronx since the 1970s. These gardens have continued to be part of the urban landscape until today, despite conflicting land use interests, changing residents groups and contradictory city planning. Both community gardens and self-built structures are created in a participatory design and self-built effort by urban residents and are an expression of the individual gardeners’ preferences, their cultural background and the decisions made by the managing residents’ group in regards to the needs of their neighborhood. Ultimately community gardens with self-built structures are an expression of the people’s will to commonly use this land for open and enclosed structures next to their homes in the city and need to be included in future urban planning.


Collective urban land use Community gardening Participatory design Urban gardens Urban agriculture Public space Caisita Architecture

Authors and affiliations

  • Carolin Mees
    • 1
  1. 1.BrooklynUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-75513-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-75514-4
  • Series Print ISSN 2197-1730
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-1749
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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