“Prinzessinnengärten” in Berlin s a bottom-up community garden initiative notable for both its scale and its ingenuity in starting a public conversation about the democratic use of public space. It believes that as more and more people move into cities, urban areas are destined to become decisive places for the development of more sustainable ways of eating, living and moving.
The original initiative was started on a site in Berlin that had been left as a bombed-out wasteland for over fifty years. The group engaged friends, activists and neighbors to clear the site and plant organic vegetables and fruit in transportable plots they built themselves. While the surrounding area is still rough and urban, the 1.5-acre litter-filled lot is now a lush oasis of herbs, fruit, flowers and even bees; and a gathering and educational space that symbolizes community resilience in Berlin.
The project has aims beyond food production. It brings together the diverse interests of the low-income, largely immigrant neighbourhood. The garden has become a platform for knowledge exchange in which often marginalised citizens from rural backgrounds have become the instructors.