Now home to 50% of the world’s population, expected to rise to 65%, cities are driving the development of our modern culture. But we are at a crossroads. Following the formation of the UN and now the broad agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we are on our way to a world in peace. Several of the SDGs lay the foundation: eliminating hunger, poverty, homelessness. However, as our awareness of the need to transition to sustainability grows, so continues the degeneration of our natural resources and our societies. The trend is not halting. Humanity’s -our – shared project, true peace, needs everyone’s involvement and understanding.
Within the initiative Invest in Peace we asked ourselves is there any one thing – a place – that a city needs that would help catalyse the change towards the 2030 goals? We came up with the idea of Gardens of Regeneration.
These gardens, uniquely adapted to each city’s context and culture, proved a place to meet and learn about peace, to develop ways to reverse the conditions causing suffering and develop ways live to regenerate the Earth.
THE Gardens of Regeneration CONCEPT
A Garden of Regeneration is conceptualized as a city space set up to promote and develop a culture of peace in its fullest sense.
“Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action.”
Just having a peace garden in a city signals the intentions of the city to develop towards peace and sustainability. However,Gardens of Regeneration can go further in informing, educating and engaging people helping them to reconnect with themselves, each other and nature and be part of the bold, shared vision of the future.
We live in a time of changing experiences of space, place and peace. The narrative of peace handed down to us from prior generations, as conflict resolution within a global community of nation-states is no longer fit to the functions of peace in our time as building an adaptively evolving safe and dignified house for humanity of adaptively evolving reasonable inclusiveness and fundamental fairness on earth as planet A, where there is not planet B. We need to evolve a new narrative of peace, and a new narrative of investing in peace. And we need new places in which to live out those new narratives. Peace Gardens are being designed as those new places.
The Gardens of Regeneration Process
The process of setting up and developing aGarden of Regeneration can be run parallel with peace processes in the city. For example, starting with regenerating soil in or near the garden can be accompanied by courses in urban gardening and dialogues about food and the future.
We recommend that the whole process be documented for future generations and for citizens who move to the city to help get to see the project’s history in a wider perspective.
Why engage Invest in Peace – why not take the prospectus and create your own garden?
You can create your own. We believe that thanks to our Peace Bank – a network of organisations working for peace in one or more ways, we have the ability to offer partners to create each of the functions in a peace garden. And at the same time, having worked for several years on the concept, that we have a unique advantage in having thought through the concept in a holistic way to ensure each component supports the other.
Is there any benefit in having peace gardens in several cities?
There is much work to be done with understanding between countries and cultures. From the event halls in the gardens, groups from the city can contact other city groups to exchange experience and perspectives, encouragement and share understanding.
Peace gardens can be places of learning to help entrepreneurs develop their businesses – a wide range of skills are represented including gardening, facilitation and sustainable technology.
Are Gardens of Regeneration really needed?
Experience shows that change in geographical areas is often helped by being anchored in a physical place in the area.
If you are interested in a Garden of Regeneration for your city, please contact Invest in Peace for a discussion towards a proposal on the way forward.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
AROUND THE WORLD: Things that gardens of regeneration could do…..
Sao Paolo has an urban farming nucleus and satellite agricultural sites to generate urban jobs and skill-building.
In Daka, Sennegal, Micro-gardening project is permitting soilless horticultural production in small urban spaces, and participate to the fight against food insecurity.
In MIllwauki, Victory Gardens Initiative is a community organisation that supports a better food system by helping people grow their own food.
In Barcelona, the collaboration between a team specialising in the employment of people with disabilities and the municipal park company to help them into employment
In Andernach, Germany, Edible City project integrates urban agriculture aspects into the city’s green spaces.