Nowadays, nature and cities seem more than ever two different, distant realities. Often, when we need a lapse of green, we decide to leave the city to look for an oasis, far away from traffic and concrete. But what about green spaces inside the city? what about a new relationship with nature in our own neighborhood? There is indeed in our cities a sub-world of experiences about nature, often mediated through art, design, architecture, activism and voluntary work of the citizens.
The book My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style, edited by Berlin-based publisher Gestalten, tries to collect all these experiences in an accurate catalogue about the various way to bring green and nature back to our cities, in a totally sustainable approach, spreading the principles of recycling and growing your own food and plants.
The book presents a variety of projects based on the idea of an environmentally friendly lifestyle: in order to make people aware of the need to change and go back to a closer relationship with nature, designers, artists and architects are starting to use plants, flowers and trees in their projects, relying on the city as their main theatre. My Green City is an illustrated guide that talks about community gardens based on organic food production and biodiversity, old coal factory turned into landscape park, public farms. But also a collection of the most notable works of activists, like Fruit City or Guerrilla Gardening, a journey through new ways of cultivating vegetables in our homes, strange pieces of green design and clever artworks which goal is to make people reflect about the need of public green spaces.
The Union Street Urban Orchard — (c) Gestalten, 2011
One of the project I appreciate the most is Poster Pocket Plants, an urban intervention created by the artists Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale, who decided to act hacking pre-existing urban furniture: first they peel off strips of existing billboards, then they fold them in order to create a sort of pot where to put soil and plant flowers. In this way they want citizens’ attention to be focused on the public space potential, bringing back at the same time some color and plants to our streets. An extended review of this project is available here.
Sean Martindale & Eric Cheung, Posterchild — (c) Gestalten, 2011
This book is a precious source of inspiration to choose nature in our everyday life. It makes us understand that it is not something to look for in an external world: on the contrary, we have to keep it closer and closer to our cities. If you’re looking for a green hope, My Green City testifies the efforts that have been made in this direction, and that eventually could affect your life as well.
My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style
R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, K. Bolhöfer
240 pages, full color, flexicover
21 x 26 cm
Click here to order My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style.