Greening Barcelona

Last night there was a very successfull OPEN SPACE event, the Festa de Transició, in the Gracia Youth Space attended by about 20 to 30 people (many new faces) to explore ways in which we can create more food in our city, further develop community resilience and further prepare for peak oil moments that will be soon upon us. This is just a quick post to group together some of the ideas we discussed, it includes audio and videos and examples of some fantastic projects that already exist. If its possible elsewhere, its possible here, like this fantastic example from food from the sky of a new community garden on the roof of a supermarket in Crouch End, London. (View their photos here)

Budgens' rooftop garden.

Budgens’ rooftop garden. Photograph: Guardian

In the initial circle, there were about 13 separate topics that arose from the group, these were divided into 3 groups, I was in group one which focused on “Strategies to increase urban food production” which ranged from how to attain space (abandoned urban lots and inaccessible roof spaces), how to fire up people in hope that they want to start making their own food, how to deal with the council, what visions we have of a future greener city, future events, eco urbanism and architecture… Hopefully the following bits and pieces will assist us in our journey.

The revolution is fertile!!!

Bold, Beautiful, Blooming Barcelona on Valentines weekend

(Puedes leer un version en Castillano de esta articulo aqui : This article first appeared on Barcelona en Transició)

From Barcelona…

Videos from Barcelona:

Hort de Gràcia (Garden of Gracia)

A lovley and simple video from a lovley and simple project: the Gracia community garden was a squatted space that existed for over a year, many many amazing things happened there aswell as food production; theatre, cinema, party, yoga, kids school. (related article and audios found here)

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Homage to Catalonia II

A documentary, a research, a story of stories about the construction of a sustainable world based on decentralized solidary economics. Thousands of people every day all over the world are already doing it. Here and now.

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(At 20 mins there is the section URBAN ORCHARDS)

– Greening the city and connecting communities @ Barcelona

An eco urban proposal for the city. Create urban greenway / CPUL mesh. Allow all abandoned spaces to become indefinite temporary gardens. Specify strategic zones as permanent community gardens, including within all existing public parks and schools. Connect these nodes by greenways. Turn greenways into CPULS (Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes), Plant fruit and nut trees, berry hedges, diverse vegetation, food. (full proposal PDFs here)

Audio from Barcelona:

1a Fira Agricola de Collserola audio (51 mins, MP3, Spanish – article here)

– The Gracia community garden radio documentary trilogy

(Feb 2009, MP3, English + accompanying article, garden vid)

1 – Entering, Breaking ground, dreams of a greener barrio.
2 – Murals and kids
3 – Lauras garden tour

– 10/10/10 International day of climate action

Hort del Fort Pienc | L’Hortet del Forat | Hort del Xino | (MP3, Spanish, article at Caminata a los huertos urbanos de Barcelona. 10.10.10)

Articles from Barcelona:

A Transition Vision For Barcelona City

RISE OF THE RURBANO REVOLUTION, Can Masdeu (17 page PDF about an amazing squatted building with community gardens on permacultural principles on edge of Barcelona city)

Bold, Beautiful, Blooming Barcelona asks: What would it mean to win?

In the rain, with raincoats and under brollies, something special happened in Barcelona. (10/10/10 International day of climate action)

Greening the city: Temporary urban green zones (a plan to get legal access to all those abandoned sad solars)

Nuevo Huerto Comunitario en Barcelona: HORT DE FORT PIENC (MARINA) (new community garden, Fort Pienc)

Plant your own food in the city – Barcelona community garden movement (Couch Surfing post)

Links from Barcelona:

Huertos Urbanos Barcelona (Blog of the community gardens in the city with google map of all locations. In Spanish, English, German)

– Gardens: Can Masdeu | HortPienc | L’Hortet del Forat | Hort del Xino (China Garden, in Raval area)

You can see the full map from the city garden map here:

From Beyond…

Videos from further a field:

The power of community – How Cuba survived peak oil

A wonderful example from Cuba, of how cities were transformed when the country experienced its “peak oil moment”, when the Soviet block fell in 1989, people had 2 choices; adapt or starve.. This is a must see film.

(We showed this film as CINE FRESCA in the community garden of Gracia, a lovely moment. 53 min. English with subtitles)


An event that inspires city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good. Originally created by an eco art collective in San Fran, Rebar, Its now gone global…

– South Circular Road Community Garden

A short vid of the evolving story of urban gardening adventures from Dublin, Ireland, as outlined here.

– The Garden Share scheme

This project is growing massivly in the UK with the transition movement. The film is from the film In Transition. It connects up people with back gardens but no time or energy to use them with people who want to make food but who have no space to do so.In the UK its being done in back gardens, but in Barcelona, the same thing could definately be done on roof terraces.

GIY : Grow It Yourself

Not-for-profit group that inspires people to grow their own food and give them the practical skills they need to grow successfully.

– A Farm for the Future

A beautiful film about how farming has to address the future as we approach energy crisis, review found here

Audio from further a field:

Transition is the new sex!

Articles from further a field:

“THE SELF SUFFICIENT CITY – Envisioning the habitat of the future” Stories of hope from Dublin

The Totnes Garden Share Scheme on the BBC (via Rob Hopkins Blog Transition Culture, watch BBC vid here)

CPULs – Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes – A Review ( the architects of food threads can be found at Bohn and Viljoen Architects)

Urban jungle: As food prices soar, could a project that saw fruit and vegetables grown in town-centre planters and parks be a blueprint for the future? (The Guardian March 26 2008 – Dott 07 Urban Farming in Middlesbrough, UK)

Bringing Nature To Mans Domain

The Cursed Earth Garden

Transition Towns and Vegetable Growing

The Botanic Spine : A Greenway and CPUL for Dublin (eco)city

Links from further a field:

Gardenshare (project being developed by Transition Totnes)

GIY : Grow It Yourself (Irish Not-for-profit group that inspires people to grow their own food and give them the practical skills they need to grow successfully)

Ooooby Down in Oz, theyre using this term which stands for ‘Out of our own back yards.’- “We’re all about connecting communities through local food.”

Transition Audio Podcasts on Tray Radio

I’ll finish up with a few images to inspire, see you in the fields…

ready for action
ready for action


2 Responses to Greening Barcelona

  1. Stuart says:

    Hi there,
    I am extremely inspired by your blog, having lived in an agroecological world for the last 8 years, I now surreally find myself in the middle of the city, with various skills and knowledge but until now nowhere to apply them!

    Do you need some help in your quest to Green Barcelona, as I would dearly love to offer you my time? I speak Spanish have started and managed an organic farm and a reforestation project and have taught people about both subjects. I have a flexible timetable and energy and enthusiasm a plenty to help push your ideas and work forward.

    I hope to hear from you soon.


  2. fuspey says:

    from miren:

    i enjoyed the visit to Can Masdeu see an amazing presentation

    from ulises of GEDS

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