Proposal code: Pusula / Ππούσουλας-2020-04-108
Remember when Nicosia had an abundance of water, wells, orchards & gardens? Gardens of the Future can imagine reviving this feeling by creating a lush, green paradise in the heart of Nicosia for all
♡ an island-wide vision:
Gardens of the Future is a collective initiative to install the first pilot garden, where food can be grown responsibly, and where the community engages in cultivating garden plots, home gardens and balconies. We celebrate circular economy and sustainable entrepreneurship to strengthen social cohesion among neighbours and communities. We envision a network of gardens around the city, from school gardens to the moat, connecting to local food systems, vertical gardening, hydroponic systems and other relevant new technologies.
We wish for our very first garden to transform this private urban ‘void’ in the heart of the old city to a green, lush paradise open to public access, where people gather, co-create, learn and experiment, share stories and experiences together. This way we can mobilize the local community, become agro entrepreneurs, heal the divide, revive tradition, promote innovation and gradually create a new culture within the city itself.
♡ our plan
⚬ The very first garden will be installed as a pilot-project in the heart of Nicosia’s historic center, in a privately owned urban space with public access.
⚬ In location of strategic importance, amidst forgotten/abandoned gardens, we aim to energise surrounding communities, connect with the local craftsmen and entrepreneurship clusters.
⚬ Engage with migrants and asylum seekers of the old town and provide opportunities to gain new skills and feel part of the community.
⚬Organise practical learnings and other initiatives for locals/others in how-to create their own gardens and grow their own food, by utilizing new, affordable technologies and innovation.
⚬ Following the pilot model for this neighborhood, we can expand to nearby ‘gardens’ and gradually apply the model to other cities.
⚬ Join forces with both Municipalities in Nicosia for their support to the Gardens and the community.
♡ our aspirations
#Community Engagement: Sharing experiences through a communal garden gives us the capacity to welcome everyone despite age, gender, religion and ethnicity background, embrace our social differences and to facilitate the circulation of ideas and practices of care and hospitality.
#Environmental Enhancement: Let the design of the garden become an ambassador of new techniques around responsible farming and use its communal idiosyncratic nature to set the premises for a dynamic urban food sharing ecosystem.
#Circular Economy approach: Promote the philosophy of building from ‘waste’ and practice the loop of recycle - reuse - reduce. New materials and techniques will be tested and even produced on site to help others apply the elements in their own space.
#Micro-entrepreneurship opportunities: The garden products and services aim to create new work opportunities for the neighborhood other people involved. Celebrating a ‘sharing economy’ philosophy by supporting small but sustainable enterprises to open paths for economic freedom.
♡ our schedule
Kick off : Clean Up: completed in March 2020 - whatch the video
Phase 1: Space Set up: (covid-measures permitting) May - September 2020
Phase 2: Garden Launch: Opening and Celebrating of the Garden - October 2020
Phase 3: Scale up: Educate others how to grow their own gardens November 2020 - April 2021
♡ scalable impact
People The act of cultivating together, has been an important human ritual that benefits beyond the biological need for food. The garden operates as a provisional bridging mechanism in Nicosia between neighbors, communities, providing the connective tissue for social exchange in ways which are rarely articulated in cities of ‘conflict’.
Cities We focus on the foundations of a co-city approach, and aim to ‘grow’ gardens as a network around cities utilizing its main assets (people’s collective power, unutilized spaces and institutional support) in order to celebrate the city itself.
Environment We develop a sustainable food supply chain that reduces food waste by producing products out of the garden's plants. These actions will therefore promote climate mitigation efforts in improving urban space quality by reducing heat island effect as well as reducing city’s CO2 emissions.
♡ our team
Starting with this initiative, we, a small team of challengers, pioneers and social entrepreneurs, have joined our forces under one purpose: to become ambassadors of sustainable change.
Dr. Natasa Christou : initiative coordinator and space principal architect
Argyro Toumazou: community facilitator & cultural producer
Steven Stavrou & Burak Burak Berk Doluay (Cyprus Inno) : Bi-communal, engagement with sustaining the community
Christoforos Tofarides: a cook & a chef : food as a social connecting experience
Andreas Angelli: Clean Tech & Social Innovation
Paul Koronis: Social responsibility and engagement
Panayiota Polykarpou: Activist and social entrepreneurship expert
Pantelis Panteli : Architect and Sustainability Expert
Rasha ZeNeddin: Architect and social butterfly
Our proposal, has earned the initial support of the Municipality of Nicosia and also awarded 2nd National Prize at Climathon Global Competition| 11/2019