Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin

January 14, 2017

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Photo Reference: Food in Berlin by Mary Scherpe www.stillinberlin.de

“This is de-territorialized, interstitial space, where almost anything goes – anything that isn’t capitalism that is – and it is here that alternatives to capitalism’s ubiquitous aesthetic can mutate and evolve, as if in some primordial tide pool of marginalized subjectivities, sheltered from the intense glare of commerciality that so dominates the world outside. This aesthetic of this zone is funky, emergent, salvaged and the tendentious…I propose a celebratory adoption of unplanning as a guiding principal in the development of public spaces…Even when these spaces are ephemeral they can have a profound and lasting effect.” Source: Unplanning by Oliver Kellhammer

This 6,000 square meter fallow land was just an empty space for more then 60 years, part of the time hidden by the Berlin wall. In June 2009 more then one hundred volunteers helped clean up this area and threw away more then two tons of garbage. Prinzessinnengarten only gets contacts on a yearly basis, therefore everything is movable. The plants are planted in old milk packs, rice bags and plastic containers from bakeries. (Source: Prinzessinnen-Garten by Eva-Lena Weinstock www.berlin-fever.com)

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A brownfield in summer 2009 turned into a urban garden and community enterprise in 2010. Photos: http://www.prinzessinnengarten.net

The project functions as a platform for people of the city and the surrounding neighbourhood. Whilst vegetable growing is the core activity, the place has many other uses. These include a garden restaurant and café, exhibition space for art projects, two open workshop spaces, the Material Mafia – who collect and recycle valuable waste, a bee project, a perennial nursery, musical performances and lots of informal and formal learning opportunities in the form of seminars or workshops. The place also functions as a social enterprise which currently employs 12 people – all part of Prinzessinnengarten’s exploration of new ways of working and living. (Source: John Tebbs, The Garden Edit www.thegardenedit.com)

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Urban gardens practically demonstrate an ecologically and socially different approach to urban spaces and their inhabitants, enable the social empowerment of marginalized communities, and are places where opportunities for local micro-economies and other economic models are being tested. In an unobtrusive and pragmatic way, such gardens raise the question of how we want to live in our cities in the future. Source: Cultivating a Different City by Marco Clausen

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