The act of taking an unused or vacant urban space and turning it into a green area is called guerrilla gardening. Usually this is illegal, just because of the laws of property ownership and usually this becomes a semi-clandestine activity. What happens is usually some concerned citizens will start throwing seed bombs on traffic islands or planting of a wasteland in the middle of the night.
First use of the term guerrilla gardening turned up in the late 60s early 70s, and is becoming more and more popular in this new turn of the century. We live in an increasingly urban and industrial bleak landscape, which is giving rise to many problems in the urban community such as the breakdown of social systems and increases of violence in many of urban cities. What happens is the vacant lots and waste areas are now used to grow flowers improving landscape and showing that people still care about their area. A lot of times vandalism will occur in these areas of guerrilla gardens even though they do have such an improvement on the areas.
Benefits of Guerrilla Gardening
The look of the neighborhood is enhanced for one thing when the guerrilla gardening is in place. Plus there is the access to fresh fruit and veggies that most inner cities do not have access to. Also tends to be that in the inner cities most people are of the poorer class and don’t have a good diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits are not readily available to these people. Now guerrilla gardening projects become more permanent and obvious and organized when you try to turn unused land into a community garden. When the risk of doing this is that the land or owner of the property will close down the garden so that the land may be developed. Recently, communities have understood and recognized the value of having a guerrilla garden their community. Not only does it allow for healthy food for an otherwise disenfranchised community but also improves the overall area as well.
There is also the guerrilla gardener who is a political activist. Some environmentalists try to encourage food production in the inner cities to cut down fuel use and pollution problems caused by transporting food into the cities. And there are also those who are anti-capitalist or squatters who just want to change the pattern of land ownership in the way the economy operates. They will take advantage of any unused or privately owned land and turn it into public use.
Is Guerrilla Gardening Illegal?
This is a nonviolent direct action that is a proactive protest against how we currently use our lands. This way we can reclaim it for the benefit of the local community. It is about trying to do something better, to make the community more productive and beneficial to its residents. And most of times they are tolerated and appreciated more were a protest march or petition may not have satisfied the situation.