Urban Gardening as Food Commons: METU Garden

The inadequacy of agricultural production due to environmental factors and injustices in accessing food as a result of increasingly profit-oriented production-distribution-consumption processes have led to the food crisis in many cities worldwide. The fragility of the current food systems in the face of all these problematic conditions calls for alternative strategies to be developed. Food commons, in this sense, emerges as a novel form of commoning that blends practical aims (sharing of land, resources, and tools) with social aspirations (fostering cooperation, self-management, and community involvement) of the urban commons to address food-related problems. In this context, this study focuses on collective food production within urban gardens while accepting urban gardening as a form of food commoning. It further explores the role of common spaces and the social dynamics of urban gardening groups for urban food production. All these are discussed through a selected case study: METU Garden (ODTÜ Bostanı). Accordingly, this research aims to relate the social structures and spatial qualities of the METU Garden to food commons theories and frameworks. Acknowledging how food commoning practices occur in community-led urban gardens such as METU Garden can contribute to developing novel, bottom-up, and inclusive design strategies to tackle food-related problems in cities.
Citation Formats
A. Çerşil and E. Kömez Dağlıoğlu, “Urban Gardening as Food Commons: METU Garden,” İdealkent, vol. 16, no. 43, pp. 415–432, 2024, Accessed: 00, 2024. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/109618.