The UAC (Community action unit of Geneva city) initiated a garden plots’ project within the public realm for the use of local residents. The occupied area was originally only 310 m2. However in 2010 the collective group Beaulieu, a group formed by the neighbors’ association and ecology foundation, reclaimed the abandoned green houses and the flowers beds of the city’s green space management service situated in the south of the park with a total area of 4,290 m2.
Community activities related to food production and ecology education have increased each year including seed conservation, beekeeping, and organic agriculture promotion. The green house provides the ancient horticulture species conservation group, who distribute rare seedlings to other community gardens and organic shops. The project is located within a public park helping to gain new followers and to promote the project.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The project is a good example of reclaiming forgotten public space. It could be reproduced in other cities where public administration budgets are limited to encourage the cultivation for food production and a stronger community network.