i15: Reclaim Abandoned Spaces for more Green Spaces
Like every city, our city has some abandoned spaces that
could be reclaimed for public green spaces. Ian Shaw has recently turned an
abandoned area in Harehills, Leeds into an urban farm growing vegetables for
the local community. Ian has worked with a group of volunteers (9-17 years old)
to build this urban farm from scratch (see here: https://www.leeds.ac.uk/main-index/news/article/4909/harvest-festival-at-inner-city-youth-farm).
There are many such abandoned spaces across our city, which could be cleaned up
and regenerated either for green spaces, creating new parks, urban woodlands,
wildlife refugium or creating space for community urban farming such as the one
mentioned above. A coordinated strategy and effort by the city council is
Green Spaces are really important to our communities, they can serve as carbon sinks and air purifiers, help protect biodiversity, generate well-being and provide educational opportunities. Expanding green spaces can benefit the city by making use of (currently wasted) spaces to create a more liveable city. How an abandoned space should be used is context specific and should be ideally decided by both local authorities and local communities. Creating urban farms is great for health and educational benefits but would require greater commitment compared to creating new parks or rewilding.