Change Alley

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Vacant Lot

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Vacant Lot
A solution to inner city living?

How might you meet the demand for ‘grow-your-own’ within dense urban areas where available land is scarce? What-if: projects together with local residents of an inner city housing estate in Shoreditch have come up with a novel solution: grow your greens in a bag.

A formerly inaccessible and run-down plot of housing estate land has been transformed into a beautiful oasis of green. Seventy 1/2 tonne bags of soil have been arranged to form an allotment space. Within their individual plots, local residents are carefully tending a spectacular array of vegetables, salads, fruit and flowers. A new sense of community has emerged.

May 1st – June 21st 2008
VACANT LOT will be part of the Love London Festival
Love London is London’s greenest annual festival, celebrating projects and organisations that are making a real contribution to creating a more sustainable capital.

20th June – 20th July 2008
VACANT LOT will be part of the London Festival of Architecture, focusing on the theme of “FRESH”.

Coming Soon
VACANT LOT on BBC Gardeners World



Written by Pete Smith

April 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. Interesting instant method to get quick results. If they keep at it they maybe interested in building a roof garden;


    April 27, 2008 at 5:39 pm

  2. To be fair, I don’t think Vacant Lot is intended as a serious urban horticulture proposal, more a combination of street art and political statement. There’s a nice tension in growing food in containers designed for building materials.
    However, Vacant Lot’s parent organisation What If already has 2 Green Roof projects on the go in London, in Kew and Kensal Rise.

    Pete Smith

    April 28, 2008 at 10:42 am

  3. What a brilliant idea I am very interested in these bags could you tell me where I could get these bags thanking you T Parker

    T Parker

    May 18, 2008 at 9:30 am

  4. If you’re specifically interested in the bags shown in the post, with the Vacant Lot logo, best contact them. These bags are typically used to deliver building materials like sand, you may be able to find someone trying to get rid of used ones, e.g. or try Freecycle.
    Wickes DIY sells new ‘Hippobags’ for waste disposal, £8.89 for the 1 cubic metre version
    If you want to grow stuff in them, I really would recommend using much smaller containers. A cubic meter is a heck of a lot of soil, most veg would only need to go down a foot or so. Half the depth is twice the growing area for the same amount of soil.

    Pete Smith

    May 18, 2008 at 10:01 am

  5. Thanks for the information Pete very helpful Tom

    t parker

    May 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

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