DOI: 10.12924/cis2017.04010063 |Publication Date: 16 July 2017
Reflexions on Urban Gardening in Germany
|Academy for Spatial Research and Planning, Leibniz Forum for Spatial Sciences, Hannover, Germany
Abstract: This article reflects on traditional and contemporary gardening movements in Germany. The focus is on forms of gardening, that take place in spaces subject to land lease agreements and similar forms of tenancy or of illegal land take or squatting. The author examines various definitions taking into account the variety of practices, the development of urban gardening over time, and the respective backgrounds or values that users relate to such gardening activities. The examination of definitions led to the drawing up of a timeline of traditional and contemporary gardening movements in Germany and to the tentative approaching of this issue from a semantic perspective. The latter is due to the usage of many different terms mostly as yet undefined in a legal sense. Translation into English or, most likely, to any other language, further blurs the common understanding of the terms used. The author concludes with some considerations on these gardening movements in relation to urban sustainable developments. A presentation at the 5th Rencontres Internationals de Reims on Sustainability Studies, dedicated to Urban Agriculture – Fostering the Urban-Rural Continuum, which took place in October 2015 in Reims/France was the starting point of this article. The basis of this article is a literature review, nourished to a certain extent by observations randomly made over many years and complemented through talks with competent young colleagues. Special thanks go to Martin Sondermann, Leibniz University Hannover, who shared his research experience in various discussions with the author, as well as to Friederike Stelter, internship student at the author’s place of work, who gave highly appreciated support to the preparation of the presentation.
Keywords: allotment gardens; urban gardening; contemporary gardening movements; urban agriculture