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Signs of Change - Amanda Yates - Performative Gardening

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Published on Dec 15, 2010

www.signsofchange.org.nz
Presented at Signs of Change National e-Conference, 15-16 November 2010, NEW ZEALAND

Urban Wellington is the site and stage for a summer season of garden performances that
draw attention to urban ecologies and sustainable food production. From November to
February a series of mobile gardens will move in a choreographed dance through the central
city, greening urban space with fruiting plants and scented herbs. Sited near once productive
Pa gardens, the movable plots remember that past through plantings of fruiting Cabbage
trees and heritage kumara, and reference successive waves of immigrants who brought their
food cultures with them parcelled in seed form. Designed by landscape architect Meaghan
Pierce-Delaney and architect Amanda Yates the gardens, as urban performance, make a
space for public discussions about food and energy security as oil becomes an increasingly
contested and expensive resource.
Sustainability issues are complex and it is not easy to initiate public debate: making change at
the small-scale and in a performative manner enables us to engage the public and act as a
sign of change within the city. Events and workshops will be sited in the gardens -- citydwellers
can eat organic cherry tomatoes while listening to an ecologist discussing urban
ecologies or a health researcher talking about how to make healthier cities through
sustainable design. As an urban intervention the performative gardening project will explore
how we could cultivate our cities, generating food locally, forming urban farms that are also
spaces for gathering, display and communal sustenance.

Produced by Kyan Krumdieck.

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