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Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

Shibuya Greening Project – 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
The “Keep our City Beautiful” (街をきれいに!) garden project which started earlier this year with extra soil, planting, demarcation and new (laminated paper) signage along Miyamasuzaka in Shibuya is now in what should be the peak of its powers.


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Take a look at the photos and judge its success for yourself (scroll down for more text)

Beer Crate Tiered Garden
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Beer Crate Tiered Garden
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
The ropes and posts on the road-side of the gardens are presumably to protect the gardens from jaywalking pedestrians.
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
The only flourishing plants are the ones that pre-date the greening project (possibly from a previous, more successful attempt) (compare left (new) and right (established)). It's interesting to note that the project has co-opted these older, healthier plants into the cause through the placement of an official project sign.
Shibuya Greening Project - 「街をきれいに!」
Without creating a sense of ownership (and appropriate choice of plants), attachment and care cannot develop and the result is a dry, sad stretch of sidewalk planters.
Shibuya Canopy
Shibuya Canopy
Tomatos and Rice on Harajuku Curb
Tomatos and Rice on Harajuku Curb
Vivid Escapee Bougainvillea

Lush Green Wall Construction
Contrast this with the verdant canopy above the same street and the rich, colorful and delicious residential gardens just off the main roads in a similar area.

Can you find some examples of recent and successful official sidewalk greening/beautifying projects?

How can cities facilitate more care for and attachment to official projects?


3 Contributions
  1. ~fer

    that is very sad
    is too bad that was such a waste of resources.
    But the concept is great

    I think many places would benefit from having plants flourish all around the sidewalks.

    Aug 23, 2010

  2. Chris

    Hi Fernando – thanks for your comment.

    Yes, I do think we would all benefit from having more plants on the sidewalk. Perhaps if it was done in a way which allowed the people in the area to feel more attachment to the project we would see more successful outcomes…..

    By the way, your garden looks absolutely fantastic – we will definitely keep checking your blog to watch it grow! Great!

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Aug 24, 2010

  3. Semi-wild, semi-cultivated space in Yoyogi « Tokyo Green Space

    [...] anonymous stewardship. The results are such a contrast with poorly organized city efforts like this Shibuya Greening Project, documented by Chris on Tokyo DIY Gardening, which seem doomed to rapid [...]

    Aug 25, 2010

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