The Glasgow Metropolitan Region has around 4,500 hectares of derelict and vacant land. Around 60 per cent of Glaswegians live within 500m of a derelict site and nearly half of all derelict and vacant sites are in areas of multiple deprivation. Life expectancy for the Glasgow Metropolitan Region is well below the UK average. 

Landscape architects erz were asked by Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership to examine why there was so little community growing activity and to suggest ways to change this. 

erz developed a strategy for community food growing which included the creation of temporary and permanent growing spaces on underused, vacant or derelict land. 

Project delivery was eased by development of a modular kit. This enables quick, effective place making where growing spaces can be established on almost any site. 

The erz kit is made from recycled timber (primarily old scaffolding boards) by Glasgow Wood Recycling (a Glasgow based social enterprise / training organisation). The kit is adaptable, vandal resistant, and appropriate to an urban setting. It creates humanscaled spaces that are convivial and exciting, enticing people to participate in urban growing. To date seven growing spaces have been created (three permanent and four temporary). “Glasgow is like a concrete city but this is our hidden garden.” Charlie Crawford Aged 9, from Partick, where one of the community growing projects is thriving. 

Credits as supplied:

Landscape architects, strategy, design of modular growing kit and design of growing spaces: erz Ltd landscape architects

Client for strategy work: Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership (lead), Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Scottish Natural Heritage

Early project delivery partners: NVA

Clients / partners to various growing space projects: Glasgow City Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Forestry Commission Scotland, Green Exercise Partnership, Shettleston Housing Association, Partick Housing Association, Merchant City Community Council, Bellsmyre Community Garden Association

Fabricator of temporary growing kit: Glasgow Wood Recycling