The Changing Meaning of Community Space: Two Models of NGO Management of Community Gardens in New York City

Authors

  • EFRAT EIZENBERG

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Geography and Human Environment, Tel Aviv University, Israel
      Efrat Eizenberg (eeizenberg@gmail.com), Planning for the Environment with Communities Research Lab, Department of Geography and Human Environment, Tel Aviv University, POB 39040, Tel Aviv — Jaffa 69978, Israel.
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  • I would like to express my gratitude to Tovi Fenster and Eran Fisher for their comments on previous drafts, and to the community gardeners of New York City who inspired and guided my work. I also wish to thank the IJURR referees for their valuable and enriching comments.

Efrat Eizenberg (eeizenberg@gmail.com), Planning for the Environment with Communities Research Lab, Department of Geography and Human Environment, Tel Aviv University, POB 39040, Tel Aviv — Jaffa 69978, Israel.

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines two different models of space management, devised by NGOs to confront the marketization of public space in New York City through privatizing the land of community gardens. The Trust for Public Land promotes a model that emphasizes community ownership, while the New York Restoration Project promotes a model that emphasizes the preservation of land. The article compares the two models of NGO management of community gardens particularly through the lens of community participation, sense of ownership and control over space, and argues that both models transform the meaning of public space in ways that undermine its opportunity to develop as an autonomous community space.

Résumé

L'étude porte sur deux modèles de gestion spatiale conçus par des ONG face à la commercialisation de l'espace public de la ville de New York via la privatisation des terrains occupés par les jardins communautaires. D'un côté, le modèle du Trust for Public Land prône la propriété communautaire, de l'autre, celui du New York Restoration Project privilégie la préservation des terrains. La comparaison des modèles des deux ONG pour l'administration des jardins communautaires s'effectue à travers le prisme de la participation communautaire, du sens de la propriété et de la maîtrise des espaces. Il en résulte que, l'un comme l'autre, ils transforment la signification de l'espace public d'une façon qui compromet la possibilité d'un aménagement en tant qu'espace communautaire autonome.

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