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Re: Re: QUESTION ON COMMUNITY GARDENING IN THE UK

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Re: QUESTION ON COMMUNITY GARDENING IN THE UK
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:06:32 EST

I knew Paul Goodman  through his brother, Percival Goodman ( an architect who 
had a practice on west 74th Street)  who made a documentary on "Comunitas"  
when I was in junior high school and used the voices of some neighborhood 
urchins, ("moi") to help narrate it. 

I read it cover to cover, then. And looking at my well worn copy now, I see 
the cite. Paul Goodman was an urban planner, and while he was a good lefty ( 
and an early "out" gay man) he liked tidiness.  The 1918 Victory Gardens on 
waste land in cities ( think NYC, Chicago, St. Louis)  appalled him, so he wanted 
allotment gardens on the European model established in our cities. 

Paul Goodman was a great urban visionary, fine upstanding lefty and 
progressive, but he liked "tidy." Vibrant cities, unless they are carefully planned, 
like Paris, are NOT tidy, because people aren't tidy. 

Jane Jacob's view of cities is more accurate, understanding the basis fact 
that it's human use and NOT CENTRAL PLANNING that makes cities work, and that an 
organic view of growth and land uses in a city is essential to its health. 

And because city populations expand and contract like accordions, we end up 
with empty lots, because landlords eventually abandon properties in areas where 
they can't make money, pay their taxes, or keep up with the repairs that are 
needed from the heavy use of poor people. '

The common sense decision in America, from our first "Victory" type gardens, 
is to plant these "de-facto" wastelands, with or without the tacit cooperation 
of the political leadership.  

In societies like Europe, allotment gardens made sense - in America the areas 
that would have allotments become suburban subdivision which are filled, in 
the words of Joan Baez's '60s song, " with little houses made of ticky-tacky, 
little houses, all the same, there are green ones, there are red ones, little 
houses made of ticky-tacky..."

The Europeans who visit us at the ACGA conferences, and in our little third 
of an acre Clinton Community Garden in NYC,  have these de-facto wastelands, 
feral lots in their cities and view our way of turning "lemons into lemonade," a 
good way to turn these sad places into vibrant community gardens. 

Capicse? ( Italian for, "ya understand, buddy?)

Everbest, 
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, 
 Clinton Community Garden  







> Subj: RE: [cg] Re: QUESTION ON COMMUNITY GARDENING IN THE UK 
>  Date: 12/17/04 4:37:18 AM Mid-Atlantic Standard Time
>  From: quinterojohn@hotmail.com
>  To: Adam36055@aol.com
>  Sent from the Internet 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Can you cite some sources of this? Have you read the reference in Paul 
> Goodmans "Communitas" the 1930s National Resoures Planning Board's recommendation 
> for the inlcusion of subsistence activities in urban fringes?
>   
> John


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