|Νικόλαος Βοσυνιώτης, Ο λαχανόκηπος του σπιτιού, Αθήνα: εκδόσεις Διον. Πετσάλη, 1941, σ. 24.|
The focus of the action in the importance of urban Allotment Gardens) - especially in the big cities - is of special interest for Greece today. The contribution of these 'heterotopias' in upgrading the lives of various social groups, directly or indirectly, can be very important especially for the major Greek cities - and so it should be investigated at several levels. The community garden is something that is almost unknown to Greece although socially-dispersed small land holdings in Greece has led to widespread private property and housing, in contrast with the mass housing projects typically encountered in the rest of Europe. It is only since 2012 that the first community gardens were scarcely developed in Greece (Alexandroupolis, Marousi, Veroia, Edessa, Thermi, Kavala, Kalamata, Komotini, Larisa, Lesvos, Rodhes, Serres, Trikala, Tripolis) and that is due to the economic crisis. The urban productive garden can be proposed as a new model of production and development that is not only sustainable but also enhances the environment, enriches the urban ecosystem, attributes a cultural message to the social space and gives another dimension to an everyday life experience which during the last years seems dystopian. Moreover the literal connection of these gardens to the nuclear family is enhanced if we consider the Greek family as a unit of social support but also as an expression of a specific cultural identity over time. In such a context, the exploratory engagement with this issue in relation to the Greek cities seems to me particularly challenging. A meaningful urban design that tries to implement the allotment gardens in the Greek urban tissue that is non-hierarchical and segmented may prove vital. Socially-dispersed small land holdings in Greece has led to widespread private property and housing, in contrast with the mass housing projects typically encountered in the rest of Europe. Small land holdings historically determine a specific relation between the individual and the state in Greece that reinforces individuality while at the same time society and the state are treated by the individual as estranged or hostile entities.
Working Group 4 deals with research on spatial distribution of Allotment Gardens over urban territories, spatial impacts and transformations of the allotments with respect to their urban context and morphology.