For the Science Café, we cooperated with Futurium, a new
exhibition and event venue that has not yet officially opened. The Futurium
organised workshop weeks on the question: “How do we want to live?” In this
context the Science Café took place on June 3 on the topic “Save the world with
the tomato on the balcony?”
Berlin's urban gardening scene is flourishing, but the idea
is not new; even in the pre and post-war period and in the GDR, a lot of food
was grown in the city for personal use. At the moment the garden movement is in
competition with urgently needed apartments and there are plans to reduce the
garden areas in favour of the construction of new apartments. Therefore, we
discussed, above all, the justification and value of urban gardening.
We talked about whether the new trend of producing food in
cities (combined with urban gardening, the renaissance of allotments, and the
edible city) can contribute to a healthier, more regional and more seasonal
diet, but also to sustainable urban development. How effective can urban
gardening be? Does it help the local and global climate?
Photo credit: Jonathan Augustin
Our discussion partners on the podium were an agricultural
scientist doing research on this topic, an urban gardening representative, an
allotment gardener and GDR contemporary witness, and an artist who deals with
material cycles and composting.
The allotment gardener, who has been gardening for decades,
said that allotments were used in the GDR to close supply gaps and supply the
population with fruit and vegetables. The food produced there was even sold in
shops. Today, however, the focus is on ecological gardening and the gardeners
strive to garden in a climate-friendly way and to promote biodiversity. All
discussion partners emphasised the importance of urban greens and the important
role of urban gardening for social, ecological and climate concerns, but also
for the appreciation of self-produced food.
In addition to the experts, 25 visitors came who were even
more interested in ecological issues and the effects of urban greenery in the
fight against climate change than in the nutritional aspect of urban gardening.
Other science cafés on preservation of food and bees and
pollination will follow in August and September.