CITY GARDEN WITH A NEW CONCEPT - COMMON GARDEN
In the past, urban gardens in Estonia have been self-created and often illegally used plots, which, as a rule, littered the urban space and were liquidated during development activities. Now, on the threshold of the climate crisis, the importance of both food security for the inhabitants of large cities and increasing the richness of urban space have risen to the agenda.
In Tallinn, 21 community gardens have already been created on the initiative of residents, where more than 1,000 urban gardeners are actively operating. In addition, kindergartens and schools as well as welfare institutions and museums are creating school-gardens. In addition to the existing community and educational gardens, the city of Tallinn is also creating opportunities for the establishment of rental garden plots for local residents for personal use. The future common garden is a symbiosis of all the aforementioned urban gardens. In the context of Tallinn, it is an area with a new concept, where in the urban garden with a modern design, opportunities have been created for city residents to grow food for their family, spend free time, organize community events and outdoor education classes.
As part of the Pollinator Highway project, opportunities are being sought to create rental gardens for Tallinn residents for personal use. In 2021, the Tallinn Strategy Center announced a procurement procedure to find a landscape architectural solution for the common garden, which was developed by F+A Maastikuarhitektuur OÜ. A unique and stylish common garden solution provides the number of garden plots, access, fences, small forms and other necessary things. On the North Tallinn section of Pollinator Highway, there is an area reserved for urban gardening at the corner of Kolde puieste and Ehte street.
Landscape architectural solution for a common garden.
Author: F+A Landscape Architecture (2022)
Pelgu Community Garden
Those interested in urban gardening have already established the Pelgu community garden on Pollinator Highway, where vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown. Community gardening is an educational and fulfilling recreational activity that is gaining popularity in cities around the world. Flowers, useful plants and fruit trees help to balance the artificiality of the 'concrete jungle', support the area's biodiversity and encourage the creation of meaningful social relationships.
Pelguaed is a community garden in Pelgulinn, created in 2019, where people living in the neighborhood grow their favorite plants and garden products in a personal box. Community events and workshops are also regularly held in Pelguaed. In total, more than 60 people interested in gardening operate in the garden. The activities of the community garden are coordinated by the NGO Pelguaed, which will remain the manager of the garden even after the completion of the community garden.
You can find more information about Pelguaed HERE
Photo: Arnis Tarassu
The established Pelgulinna common garden is essentially a further development of the Pelgulinna community garden and the first urban garden with that kind of concept in Tallinn. Following the example of the Pelgulinna common garden, we wish to create similar community gardens in all districts of Tallinn in the future.
Urban gardening in Tallinn
The purpose of urban gardening is to introduce environmental awareness and green thinking, create an educational learning environment, encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, diversify public urban space, encourage joint activities and create good neighborliness and a sense of community. In Tallinn, city gardens are divided into open community gardens and educational gardens of municipal institutions, an overview of their locations can be found on the Google Maps map. Everything related to urban gardening in Tallinn is gathered on Keskkonnaweb's Urban Gardening page People interested in urban gardening are gathered on social media by the Edible City TLN Facebook group, which you can join to exchange experiences and knowledge and stay up-to-date on activities related to urban gardening.
Exciting examples from the world
The term volkstuin in the Netherlands refers to both rental gardens and community gardens where private individuals can grow fruit and vegetables, flowers and trees for their own consumption. Often there are also tool sheds built on the land and sometimes even a decent cottage to spend a weekend or the entire summer season. The first such gardens appeared in the Netherlands already in the 17th century. At that time, the working class grew vegetables for themselves there and sold the surplus to earn income. These gardens were believed to increase people's happiness and improve the material and moral situation of the working class. Currently, there are more than 240,000 rental garden plots in the Netherlands, which, in addition to growing food, also fulfill the task of active leisure.
Allotment plot in Zestienhoven Horticultural Cooperative.
Photo: Lea Vutt
Helsinki's green oases
At the beginning of the 20th century, rented garden plots began to appear in Helsinki, where workers could relax. A total of nine gardens still offer gardening enthusiasts an opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend free time. The gardens are open to all interested in the summer season and lively events such as Midsummer celebrations and karaoke evenings take place there. More information about Helsinki Gardens can be found HERE
Kumpula allotment garden
Photo: © Visit Finland/Julia Kivelä
Copenhagen oval allotment gardens
In Denmark, people who move from the countryside to the city and are used to growing their own food can rent a small patch of land and grow vegetables or just enjoy being outdoors. Most rental gardens in Denmark are located on municipal land managed by a cooperative that in turn rents plots to its members. The cooperative's membership fee is affordable, so that everyone can do gardening. Naerum, a suburb of Copenhagen, has some of the most beautiful rental garden plots in the world, designed by award-winning Danish landscape architect Carl Theodor Sørensen.
If you are interested in rental garden plots or want to become a hobby gardener in the future, follow the completion of Pelgu allotment garden and the project's further activities HERE!