In the time of self-isolation and learning about cities and sustainability, I’ve started to realise how much responsibility each of us has as an individual for the world around us.
We could blame the economy and government but we are all users of what we are provided. To change the system we should change our own mentality based on consumerism and desire to have all the possible goods even when we don’t need it.
I felt in love with the idea of urban ecology. I was driven by urban design, planning, and architecture and the environment was the part of it of course, but I haven’t thought that I am also a creator of this ecosystem, I’m part of it and I can do better for our biodiversity, quality of air and water and my own mental and physical health.
There are thousands of articles showing how nature and green infrastructure are important for our health. We are more active if streets are shaded with trees and the view on vegetation calm us down and have a stress relief effect. Moreover, green habitat corridors are also beneficial for biodiversity.
Water and biodiversity sensitive urban design are vital for better outcomes in our cities but that is the tool for professional urban designers, planners, and policymakers. What could be done by citizens is «adopting the verge» for planting native vegetation, herbs or street tree, creating own garden on the backyard or balcony, or being the part of a local community garden.
I’m quite happy to have now such an amazing extra space at the apartment that I rent. Moreover, I can eat my garden as I have lemons, mint, rosemary, parsley, chives, dill and tomato. Also, it is very entertaining and enjoyable to care about own green babies, observing how little seed becomes a plant or a tree.
To be honest, I can’t wait for my blueberry to grow 🙂
You can furnish your balcony almost for free if you ask your friends for their old furniture or take it from the verge. I think for this garden we bought only plants themself, one black chair and one candle. However, if you have to buy something, try to choose more eco-friendly materials, that you can easily recycle afterwards, such as watering can, for example, steel & wood.
The rest was reused from other people and my own old containers that are pots now 🙂
Finally, I have space for my little souvenirs and talismans. The Lion King was found not the street and now it can enjoy a little shelter near my growing dill. Marmot travelled with me from Russia. It’s very special little thing as I’ve got it for myself after winning a big architectural competition and marmot was my inspiration for the project 🙂