Socially-Constructed Landscapes: Evolving Governing Structures to Sustain Community Gardens
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Communication and interaction are fundamental characteristics in the evolution of humanity. Towns and cities arise out of these necessities. Many people come together to build communities in order to form bonds. In the metropolitan setting where space is extremely limited, shared community gardens become the quintessential example of places that people use to reconnect with their physical surroundings and build social value. In more rural locations, people intentionally design shared spaces, yearning to rekindle communal living integral in urban environments. Cohousing developments are such places, which are founded upon the kinship ideal. Community gardens and cohousing developments are two disparate landscapes that exhibit the human need to connect. Physical layout comes secondary in these socially-constructed places; they are vehicles for cultivating strong relationships between people of shared values. To better understand this phenomenon, this thesis will specifically explore three community gardens - the Liz Christy Bowery-Houston Garden, La Plaza Cultural, and 6BC Botanical Garden - in order to understand placemaking in action. Ongoing strategies that helped these communities develop ?place? will be outlined and critically evaluated. For consistent comparison, each garden will focus on the evolution of their governance. Cohousing developments will be as a way studied to first understand how socially-driven organizations assemble themselves. This thesis will conclude that such places, out of the desire to improve, create more organized, hierarchical governing systems over time.
dissertation or thesis