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Definitions and design

Hi, I'm an Urban Studies major at Columbia University and I'm writing a
research paper on privately run open spaces specifically bonus plazas
and community gardens in New York City.  Last night, I went to a really
enlightening conversation about the housing vs gardens debate that
concerned community district 3 in the Bronx.

Part of the discussion revealed that the definition of what makes a
community garden is ambiguous.  For example, if only two tenants are
running a garden and only those two are allowed entrance, is it a
community garden?  On the other hand there is the issue of
public/private.  Would you call a community garden a public space?  In
some ways, it seems like no.  Many gardens have individual plots and no
communal plots.  Access may be limited to only those who live in the
neighborhood.   Why are lockable gates such an ubiquitous characteristic
of gardens.  What do you think?

Another question I had was how gardens are designed.   There's more
media about how they get torn down than how they got started.  Do
gardeners hold a design competition or is there one person who usually
calls the shots?  Do any gardens have design standards that later
gardeners have to abide by?

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much.

Elaine Shen

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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