Stowarzyszenie Aktywności Miejskich "Rozkwit" (Urban Activism Association "Rozkwit") is a non-governmental organization working for the sustainable development of Warsaw's green spaces, especially allotment gardens. We want a city that is friendly to its human and non-human inhabitants. We are interested in places where art, design, science, and urban activism meet.

Allotment gardens are biologically diverse areas. They contribute to limiting the effects of climate change by air purification, water retention, or counteracting the urban heat island phenomenon. Allotment owners know the gardening tradition and the local history. Also, they are enthusiasts of various forms of handicraft. Their knowledge and experience can serve local communities.

The cultural and natural microcosm of allotments is going through dynamic changes. The areas of city allotment gardens are attractive to developers. Their legal and planning status is not regulated. The gardens are undergoing a process of gentrification, as a result of which traditional gardening is disappearing, and the rising prices of plots are narrowing down the number of people who can afford them. Opening gardens to local communities as places of creative activity and intergenerational skills exchange can help preserve their unique character and limit negative socio-economic processes.

Organizing exhibitions and artistic residencies on the allotments shows how spacious, flexible and diverse they are. The division between arts and handicrafts is no longer visible in the allotment garden. Art becomes accessible to people who do not have regular contact with it.

Efforts to preserve allotment gardens in the city must take into account the interests of both allotment holders as well as the city and its inhabitants in general. We try to show real, publicly available solutions, alternatives to the progressing commercialization of plots, both those resulting from processes inside the gardens and caused by external pressure. The aim is to develop a common and bottom-up model of the functioning of gardens, which will preserve the ecological and social values of plots, and strengthen the public function of garden spaces. We believe that art activities on allotments are one of the best tools in this process.

︎︎︎ @sam_rozkwit

Rita Müller