The book investigates the development of community gardens with self-built structures, which have existed as a shared public open space land use form in New York City's low-come neighborhoods like the South Bronx since the 1970s. These gardens have continued to be part of the urban landscape until today, despite conflicting land use interests, changing residents groups and contradictory city planning. Both community gardens and self-built structures are created in a participatory design and self-built effort by urban residents and are an expression of the individual gardeners' preferences, their cultural background and the decisions made by the managing residents' group in regards to the needs of their neighborhood. Ultimately community gardens with self-built structures are an expression of the people's will to commonly use this land for open and enclosed structures next to their homes in the city and need to be included in future urban planning.
Carolin Mees holds a Dr. Ing./PhD in Architecture and a Dipl.Ing/ M.A. in Architecture, both from the Berlin University of Arts, as well as a Vordiplom/ B.A. in Architecture from the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany. With her office mees architecture Carolin Mees has designed community-based open space structures since 2007, when she led the participatory design of the Gardenhaus shelter structure for the municipal community gardens program of New York City, GreenThumb. Carolin Mees has been the Project and Design Coordinator for New York City's Mayor's Offices Gardens for Healthy Communities Initiative that resulted in the participatory design and self-building of 13 new community gardens from 2012-2014. She has continued to work as an architect and researcher in the field of community-based urban design and has published widely about her research. Carolin Mees has been teaching in the field of architecture, landscape architecture, sustainable systems and designing urban agriculture at various universities in Europe and North-America since 2009.
**Foreword Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The emergence of shared gardens and self-built structures in European cities *Germany with focus on Berlin Austria with focus on Vienna Great Britain with focus on London France with focus on Paris
**Chapter 3: The emergence of shared gardens and self-built structures in North American cities *The emergence of shared gardens and self-built structures in cities in the United States - Philadelphia as United States case study The emergence of shared gardens and self-built structures in Canadian cities Toronto as Canadian case study
**Chapter 4: The emergence of community gardens in New York City with focus on the South Bronx *Social and economic background of the South Bronx Community gardens and urban land use Community gardens and community open spaces Community gardens versus housing
**Chapter 5: The impact of stakeholders on the development of community gardens in the South Bronx *The federal government The state and the municipal government Banks Insurance companies Landlords Tenants Organizations
**Chapter 6: Organizing, planning and governing community gardens *Community garden members and the economic situation Community garden members and the social situation Community gardens, community organizing and community change Community gardens and community planning Community gardens and governance Community gardens and public attention Community gardens and affordable housing Community gardens and open space planning Interdependency between city planning, housing and community gardens
**Chapter 7: Community gardens and self-built structures as a form of cultural expression *Community gardens, shared design aesthetic and culture Design of community garden elements and cultural context The casita as Puerto Rican cultural expression The casita in Puerto Rican culture The development of the casita in the Puerto Rican context of the South Bronx Other self-built structures The batey The stage The chicken coop The pig roast The shrine and other artifacts Rincon Criollo as case study of community gardens with self-built structures
**Chapter 8: Participatory design of community gardens and self-built structures: Lessons from field experiences *Participatory design and construction of community gardens Participatory design and use of shared open spaces Involvement of planners in the participatory design process Participatory building process and materials Lessons from the participatory design of the Gardenhaus structure Citywide regulations for self-built structures and their impact on the Gardenhaus Participatory design-build development of the Gardenhaus Looking back at the design of the Gardenhaus structure Lessons from the participatory design of the Gardens for Healthy Communities Initiative The Gardens for Healthy Communities Initiative Looking back at the Gardens for Healthy Communities Initiative
**Chapter 9: Conclusion List of Figures
Participatory Design and Self-building in Shared Urban Open Spaces