Back to the garden

Submitted by digital on Tue, 10/21/2014 - 15:44
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[],"sections":[[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\"Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.\" \u2014 Hippocrates"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"To provide an alternative to what they argue are fundamentally unhealthy modes of living in the U.S., a team of researchers from Virginia Tech University proposes adopting a new model based on the European allotment garden."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"These gardens resemble miniature towns with a network of gravel walking paths in place of streets. The shared interest in growing food fosters community bonds and a food culture; characteristics that are lacking in the typical American community, whether urban, suburban, or rural, the researchers write."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The combination of smaller houses, walking paths rather than streets, and gardening would encourage active lifestyles and promote the knowledge and skills required to grow food and prepare healthy meals, the authors write. They propose turning the typical American suburban model on its head: requiring rather than prohibiting food production, setting maximum instead of minimum allowable house sizes, and restricting automobiles to parking outside the community."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"This model of living would also transcend typical economic stratification, they assert. With small lots, ranging from 2,500 to 4,000 square feet, and small houses, people across a wide spectrum of income levels could afford to participate in a living arrangement with a high quality of life. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The advantages of living in such a community would include greater physical activity, increased access to fresh and nutritious food, lower living costs and more time available for family and communal activities, according to the researchers."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The research team identifies a potential site for such a community: an abandoned strip mall in Christianburg, Virginia. The site would accommodate 200 single-family garden homes, ranging in size from 400 square feet to 1,000 square feet, they write."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"This resource was submitted in conjunction with a national professional conference, The Value of Design: Design & Health, held in Washington, D.C., April 22\u201324 2014."]]]]}
Learn about a proposal for using European allotment gardens as a community redesign template for improving public health and wellness.
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The European allotment garden as a model for new communities
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