"How do we create together?" Urban food commons as gateway to ecological intelligence

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Kemshaw, Matthew
Community Gardens
Right to the City
This study emerged from the author's work in a food commons in industrial East Vancouver. It began from a curiosity about how place impacts who we are. By employing a process oriented research design the study evolved to ask: How may participation in the Purple Thistle's food commons influence people's engagement in the urban landscape? The findings challenge modern notions of property and urban design, and highlight a vision of the urban impossible (Chatterton, 2009) that could catalyze communities to uphold their democratic right to the city. Entering through an open, process oriented, and trust centered organizational structure, participants' experiences in the Purple Thistle garden led them to new ways of experiencing (in)dependence and trust. This had implications for the way they saw the world around them, and the way they engaged in the built environment.
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