The Concrete Garden – Land is Freedom! A Call to Reclaim our Cities

By Julie Deconchat, Permaculture Association

I’m back where it all started for me – Glasgow, its pubs, the rain, Kelvingrove park, the persistent smell of fish and chips, and the nicest people I have ever met. I was a student at the University of Glasgow last year through the Erasmus program, and absolutely loved my time there. So after two months of travelling in the Scottish countryside, it was time for me to come back to my favourite city, to see friends and to volunteer with the Concrete Garden, a community garden based in the north of Glasgow, which uses permaculture principles. I spent a week there, participating in different volunteering sessions, a volunteer action day, and a Permaculture Design Course weekend, with two ‘urban growing community workers’, Kate and Paula. Being a city girl myself, I was extremely impressed when I saw how much life could be created behind a wooden panel on busy Balmore road....

Youth for Public Spaces: (Place) Making Our Future

By Riva Kapoor, Project for Public Spaces

At a time when a primary mode of interaction between young people is through social media, this group may be especially vulnerable to the possibility of forgetting the value of public space around them. Why play chess in the park when you can play it on Facebook? Why walk along the riverside when you can send Tweets instead? Why have lunch from a kiosk in a public plaza when it’s easier to post Snapchats of your food from home? Over the past month, I have had the privilege of working with Project for Public Spaces (PPS) as their first high-school intern. I have been observing, photographing, and researching the management of public spaces in and around New York City. I’ve visited the city many times before and have taken a module on planning in my geography class, but observing New York through the lens of placemaking brought a new dimension to my understanding....