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Europe puts emphasis on the development of allotment gardens - 23.12.2015

With the progressive urbanization and environmental degradation the need for the existence of family allotment gardens in towns and cities is becoming increasingly clear. It was recognized by the authorities of Barcelona and the Swedish city of Växjö, which have put emphasis on the development and promotion of allotment gardens.

In Barcelona, the authorities introduced the “Barcelona of the future” programme, the second most important point of it is the development of the family allotment gardens. In this way the authorities want to encourage seniors in the city  to self-cultivation of vegetables and fruits. The city will provide itself with the appropriate number of crops for their needs, and city dwellers will find space of green retreat in the crowded and very touristic Barcelona.

Not only the south of Europe has a positive approach to gardening allotment. In the same way the Swedes think. The authorities of the Swedish town of Växjö encourage city dwellers to cultivate gardens, by providing them the appropriate area. The whole project is supervised by the Swedish Association of Family Allotment Gardens. It should be emphasized that the gardens and benefits associated with their cultivation are among the seven key initiatives for greening Sweden, affecting the development of the country.

Unfortunately, the Polish allotment gardeners may have still a lot to be desired from the authorities. Because the development of family allotment gardens is not sufficiently supported by local governments. Moreover, in larger cities, they often tend also to question the need for family allotment gardens.

Meanwhile, people crave gardens. This can be seen in the example of Warsaw, which started efforts for the title of "European Green Capital 2018". On the other hand in Cracow under pressure from the city dwellers, the President decided to appoint the Board of Green City, which has to take care of greenery in the city. - Moving away from the policy of large investments. We go out to the people, we focus on the quality of life - says the president of Krakow. A strong need for allotment gardening can be seen among the city residents. More than 40 percent of applications submitted to the study concerned the development of a town allotment gardens.

We can only hope that Polish officials will follow the footsteps of their foreign counterparts and also appreciate the role of the family allotment gardens in cities. Especially now when the number of candidates who want to have a plot in family allotment gardens is much larger than the plots made available by the Polish Allotment Gardens Federation.

The author and translator: Agnieszka Drążek

Media Department in the Polish Allotment Gardens Federation

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