"We are our choices" - JP Sartre

Citizen as participant

Let's reject the title of consumer. I reject that name because I don't want to take more than I give. We have passed that tipping point and know we need to change, particularly when it comes to land use. Three generations of industrialised farming has poisoned our country, has annihilated half our biodiversity, leading to a terribly steep decline in all insect life, the consequences of which no one knows, beyond the economic implications of manual pollination.

We can all make a difference to the places we live in. We can shape our own gardens and beyond, with small actions that impact on those around us. We know that when we create a habitat, no matter how small, the wildlife arrives. Make a small pond and see it fill with life.

Plant some flowers and see the butterflies and bees arrives. Make a sign outlining what you have done. People will notice. It's that simple. And it's aesthetic. It adds to our visual landscapes. It adds to our internal worlds. It's reassuring, so aids wellbeing. In all of us.

So, here are some exercises in tipping towards the perception of public social space as something to which we can add something of intrinsic value.

Often we cannot wait for permission to contribute. That's ok because it's debatable who it belongs to.

Green Refuge

Our stall at the National Park City Fair will provide the materials and tools to get you started on these small, important acts. Working together to position the citizen as narrator, we reveal how the city can become a place for unsanctioned environmental interventions and artworks.

  • Make a bird-box and install it
  • Plant some wildflower seeds in an unmanaged area
  • Plant some vegetables in an available space
  • Make a window box
  • Hang a hanging basket
  • Plant a tree
  • Make a sign that outlines your intention/ a picture

"The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanisation."

Touchwood Trees

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