Urban Gardens in Greece: A New Way of Living in the City

Chapter
Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)

Abstract

Urban agriculture and community gardening had not gained any significant attention until the last decade in Greece where urban food has traditionally been related to the agricultural sector and to the Greeks’ strong attachment to their rural place of origin and home. In addition, environmental politics were not well developed, and the main urban strategies have been mostly concerned with the general pattern of land use, infrastructures (especially the development of transportation systems), public buildings, and facilities necessary to the promotion of public comfort. The recent economic crisis, mainly since 2010, has shifted policymakers’ awareness regarding the ‘urbanization of poverty’ in Greek cities and particularly in the metropolitan areas. Drawing inspiration from abroad, initiatives to handle the social consequences of the crisis have been taken. The program of ‘Municipal vegetable gardens’ appeared as an innovative measure for immediate action against urban food deprivation for the most vulnerable social groups (unemployed, low-earners, low-pensioners, single parents, etc.) affected by the impact of the crisis. Meantime, imposed austerity policies have contributed to a rising discontent with the government and its policy, giving birth to new forms of social movements concerned also with providing community access to ‘green spaces’. Therefore, this chapter serves as an introduction to and a general overview of urban agriculture and community gardening in Greece, addressing the role of involved parties, policy formulation, and legislation.

Keywords

Greece Municipal vegetable gardens Urban agriculture Urban gardens Community gardening Social urban movement 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of ArchitectureNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Urban DesignNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

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