• Carolin Mees
Part of the Urban Agriculture book series (URBA)


The introduction to the book will frame the context of participatory design, open spaces and self-built structures in regard to community gardens and casitas in New York City. Community gardens with self-built structures have existed in New York City as a shared open space land use in low-come neighborhoods like the South Bronx for four decades, 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.


  1. GreenThumb (2017) GreenThumb Garden Map. Accessed 4 Mar 2017
  2. Mees C (2015) Rebuilt rubble – community gardens in the south Bronx from 1970s to the 21st century: common land use in the inner city from a socio-economic open space planning perspective. Berlin University of Arts, College of Architecture, Media and Design. Doctoral thesis. Accessed 14 Apr 2017
  3. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (2017) History of the community garden movement. Accessed 4 Mar 2017
  4. Open Accessible Space Information System (2017) Community gardens search options. Accessed 4 Mar 2017
  5. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2009) Urban and Rural areas 2009. Accessed 4 Mar 2017
  6. United States Census Bureau (2017) Quick Facts, Bronx County (Bronx Borough), New York. Accessed 4 Mar 2017

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolin Mees
    • 1
  1. 1.BrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations