URBAN RENATURALISATION

THE CHALLENGE

Weaving land stewardship networks and multiplying citizen involvement
citizen involvement for sustainability

Contact with nature is essential for human well-being. In the case of cities, this contact is limited by the scarcity of parks and gardens, and the even scarcer urban gardens. It is a fact that the process of denaturalisation implied by our development system results in a lack of knowledge and direct relations with the natural world, which becomes more acute in cities.

Urban gardens and allotments are a strategic instrument with great short- and long-term benefits for the health and well-being of people, the urban environment and its ecosystems, as well as for mitigating the impending climate crisis. For example, they generate a reduction in air pollution, noise and stress; increase visual beauty; constitute healthy spaces for recreation and interaction; educate about the importance of natural and environmental values; improve the mental and physical health of citizens; and foster solidarity networks among neighbours. In the case of urban gardens, they also contribute to food security.

"No home should be more than four minutes from a green space", say experts in England. We cannot say that this is true for many residents of our municipalities in the Canary archipelago.

Although the need has been translated into cases of citizen mobilisation, in which various groups of people have generated small self-managed green spaces in different parts of our urban centres, and although there is great human potential and a great deal of motivation, the necessary technical, material, training and infrastructure resources are not available.

Indeed, citizens' initiatives of land stewardship for urban greening are increasing in number in the Canary Islands. However, this movement still lacks an umbrella or coordinating body.

THE SOLUTION

A sustainable, participatory and inclusive proposal

Project: "An orchard is possible".

From Canarias Archipiélago Sostenible we seek to help bring the benefits of urban greening to disadvantaged municipalities and neighbourhoods that require interventions to improve their social cohesion. 

To this end, we want to to strengthen and promote the land stewardship movement, which is on the rise in the Canary Islands, and more specifically citizen initiatives for the rehabilitation and greening of urban spaces.

Through such initiatives, neighbours are inadvertently tackling a range of issues, including urban renaturation, waste management, environmental awareness, promoting social cohesion and food security. Of course, the results of their efforts could be much greater and more cohesive if they were resourced, coordinated and supported.

That is why we work to:

  • Promote new neighbourhood initiatives, and support existing ones, for urban greening in a cross-cutting, inclusive and participatory way by creating neighbourhood networks. We focus on neighbourhoods or streets with little vegetation, gardens or trees, as well as areas where there are disused micro-spaces.
  • To bring together initiatives, weaving an inter-island network in order to give greater visibility to the work of citizens and thus inspire others, generate synergies and learning.

Are you interested in this topic? Do you need help to develop an orchard in your neighbourhood? ¡Write to us at!

DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT?

We want to help you get it going.

Contact