A local authority project, "Essbare Stadt Andernach" or "Edible City Andernach" was initiated by town council planners with the premise of converting public gardens into a place for growing fruit and vegetables.Under the project, the citizens of Andernach are invited to both: consume the produce from these public gardens and assist in their maintenance. A process which allows the public gardens to retain their function as aesthetically and visually pleasing environments.
Why is this Example Inspirational?
Generally, local authorities operate within the bounds of a set 'budget' which must be used for the maintenance of their public gardens and parks. Typically large sums of this budget are utilised in the employment of professional gardeners. What the Andernach project demonstrates, is a model for delivering urban agriculture in a cost effective way within the city. Through urban agriculture, public education on food and further social benefits can be reaped and this is why this project is inspirational.
Project Successes and Failures: do's & don'ts
In the context of Andernach the project demonstrates a clear success, but one may wonder if it would be possible to transfer the concept to a more anonymous scenario of a larger city. Additionally, clear ownership by the local community appears to be a crucial factor in the projects success.
Although the project involves the local community, it appears to exempt the involvement of local farmers. It is clearly plausible that local vegetable/fruit farmers close to the city could get involved in such a project, working to: assist in the maintenance of the public gardens for a fee, and/or using these gardens as a platform for showcasing larger scale production. Thus, it is possible to imagine that this concept could be combined with farmer markets.