Conference: The City Is Our Garden. Ev. Akad. Tutzing, May 24 – 26, 2024 (in German)

Once again I have gladly accepted the invitation to the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, this time to be part of a conference by the Anstiftung, a foundation that fosters civil society and community engagement by supporting urban gardens and other public facilities and interventions.

The garden movement creates life-giving places for everyone, where democratic participation becomes practical and the relationship between the city and nature is renegotiated… Community gardens have long been integrated into urban governance processes and climate crisis policy. Today, in times of multiple crises, we want to discuss how the vision of the early days is being realized, what challenges the garden movement faces, what discourses it inspires and how it can continue to radiate further.” (Translated from the German conference program).

In my experience, urban community gardens are precious resources, indeed, where gardening know-how, environmental education and a tips for a healthier lifestyle are imparted. They are places where self-efficacy and mindfulness are learned daily and where conflict management skills, resilience and democracy are strengthened over the long term. With their hands deep in the soil, people here naturally engage in conversation, sharing not only about their lives or the day’s news, but also negotiating concrete strategies for the joint operation and use of these neighborhood commons. Last but not least these gardens are healing oases that offer visitors an opportunity to ground themselves, to connect deeply with nature and to move from the thinking mind into the feeling body for a few refreshing moments.

Everyday encounters and joint action in the garden help develop urban greenspaces where neighbors listen to each other, co-create their immediate living environment and thereby strengthen civil society beyond the bounds of the garden.

For details and to register for the conference, click here: I look forward to leading a workshop on the topic of Mindful Gardening / Tending the Earth, among other things.