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Community greening- why is no one doing this?

Greening the community

spring vegetable gardenFor those of you not versed in commercial real estate, most states require a minimum amount of “green space” to be used in every development be it retail, multi-family and even industrial. Many developers get around this standard by excavating the land where the project will go, then adding some saplings and sod and calling it green space. The same goes for apartment and condo communities.

Maybe I’ve been reading too many hippie blogs, but it occurred to me today that the age old concept of community gardens is perfect for apartment and condo communities where some of the “green space” is slated to go or currently exists?

For those of you who have never been to a community garden, interested parties get a dedicated piece of land (usually very small and in the case of an apartment it would likely be a few square feet) that has been excavated and enriched with native soil so gardeners aren’t planting in bad soil or on bedrock.

The multi-family sector is fairly stagnant in ideas for added amenities and often look for ways to build community, but adding horseshoes and throwing a pizza party are so 1993. Environmentalism has become more commonplace- recycling continues to rise in residential areas, people are consuming more green products and building more green homes, so it seems that it would be acceptable in some MSAs to insert community gardens in what is currently useless space.

I would get involved in an apartment or condo community garden if offered, would you? It’s much easier than potted vegetables on a small patio and I would love to meet neighbors. What are your thoughts?

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CC Licensed image courtesy of wwworks via

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Genevieve

    April 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I am in total agreement. Community Gardens should be much more prevalent. I actually did a little blog about that in December ( Here in Northern Virginia, there are actually a lot more community gardens than you would expect- they are just not very obvious. When you find out where they are, though…. make sure to sign up on that wait list!

  2. Benn Rosales

    April 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I’m not sure if you remember there was a Will and Grace episode about the gnome and the community garden and the obsessive nature of those who use them- maybe that’s why no one does it, gnome people?

    It’s a cool concept, it should be done more, especially in highrise spaces where rooftops are reserved for sexy air conditioners and the like.

  3. Mark J. Lehman

    April 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I’d love to see some fruit trees going in these spaces. Can you imagine instead of congregating around the water cooler, stepping outside your office building and chatting while enjoying a freshly picked apple or plum?

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