Carrot City Designing for Urban Agriculture

Cotteridge Community Orchard

Exhibit Category / Catégorie de l'expo: Community & Knowledge

Location/Emplacement: Birmingham, UK
Dates: 1997 - present
Designers/Concepteurs: Axis Design Architects (FoCP Shelter Proposal)
Clients: Friends of Cotteridge Park (FoCP)

More Information/Plus d'informations:
Image Credits/Crédits d'images: Joe Nasr, Thorsten Schnier — Architectural Renderings by Axis Design Architects

Project Description: (version française ci-dessous)

Cotteridge Park is located south of Birmingham’s city centre, close to Bournville, the site of the famous Cadbury chocolate factory. In 1997, the Friends of Cotteridge Park (FoCP) group was formed to save the park from funding cuts by the city authority. Through a series of high-profile protests, FoCP was able to convince the authority to not decommission the park. Following this victory, FoCP continued its work with the park focusing its efforts on improving the existing facilities, and creating new ones. One of these improvements included creating a community orchard for local residents on a large patch of derelict land owned by British Rail which ran up the outer edge of the park.

Eventually the group was able to raise the funds to buy the land, and they then set about clearing the space with the ambition of creating a community orchard. FoCP received a grant from Birmingham Trees for Life, which enabled the planting of fruit trees. The orchard is always accessible; local residents, schoolchildren and visitors to the park are free to explore the wonder of the space. They are also invited to harvest and experience the produce. Several schools have their own raised beds on the site, and residents tend to the plots regularly.

Recently FoCP have been in contact with local architects regarding the creation of a sustainable structure opposite the orchard, to replace the shipping container currently used as office and meeting space. The new building, currently in the early design stages, will be used for educational purposes (lessons and workshops) and café; FoCP will also use the structure as their headquarters. Cotteridge Community Orchard illustrates the power of organized residents to create new growing spaces with very long time horizons in planning and implementation.

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