Public Gardening and the Challenges of Neighbourhood Regeneration in Moscow
The popularity of public gardening in post-Soviet countries has arisen quite recently along with the penetration of neoliberal ideas. Public gardening not only visually improves the environment, but it also creates a range of public spaces and “other” places in which urban citizens can come together; eventually it could help to enhance the image of distressed neighbourhoods. Such community initiatives can be divided into sanctioned intervention and unauthorised intervention (“commoning”); unauthorised intervention is when residents are displeased with their surroundings and attempt to improve their environment in their own way. This paper explores the limitations of the practices of commoning as a source of regeneration and compares its cultural dimensions. In this paper I discuss the initial results of an ongoing research project focused on the expectations of people involved in these forms of participation. During this process, the differing typical understandings and perceptions of urban gardening in public and semi-public spaces will be applied.