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Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.19 10:43 AM

TEACHING CIVIC URBANISM
Reimagining Transport Infrastructure for Future Generations

In response to the 2021 Venice Biennale agenda of ‘How will we live together?’ Publica and Energy Garden are working with young people to explore how London’s transport networks can be transformed into instruments for youth-led climate action and social inclusion at the city scale.

Energy Garden’s youth training programme offers a case study of how to lead the transformation of rail stations, train depots, schools, hospitals and housing estates into community gardens and sites of community energy production. Their site at Brondesbury Park Overground Station demonstrates the enormous potential of these initiatives. Publica have projected how this project could be scaled-up to make a transformative impact across London.

Energy Garden have produced a film to showcase their work at Brondesbury Park station and share the views of 20 young people (16–24-year-olds primarily from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds). Publica and Energy Garden developed key questions for a conversation about potential for youth-led, climate action projects; How climate change will affect local communities and how transport infrastructure could be adapted to create more resilient spaces.

The film will be shown at the Korean Pavilion on the 26th and 27th of October.

Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.8 03:40 PM
Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.8 06:35 PM

CASE STUDY: ENERGY GARDEN AT BRONDESBURY PARK STATION

Energy Garden’s project at Brondesbury Park Overground Station offers a case study of how transport infrastructure can be reconsidered and transformed into a community garden and a site for local energy production. This model enables local residents, children and young people to engage with their environment and consider ways to innovate and address climate change in their local area. An amenity for residents and young people, the Brondesbury Park Station’s Energy Garden also offers a youth training programme, which involves young people working and learning in a paid role to inform the design and ongoing maintenance of the project.

The Energy Garden is situated on the London Overground line with connections to Brondesbury, Brondesbury Park, Kensal Rise and Willesden Junction stations. The spaces surrounding the transport infrastructure are underused and uninviting. There is a significant opportunity to rethink the use of these spaces and create a continuous link of green infrastructure along transport links for energy production, diversification of planting and better pedestrian connections.

This map envisions a walkable green corridor accessible to all, that extends for the whole length of the overground link between Brondesbury and Willesden Junction Station, giving an insight into how the transport infrastructure link could be adapted to create more resilient spaces that serve the community.

Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.8 06:37 PM
Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.8 06:42 PM

IMPLEMENTATION ACROSS LONDON

Drawing inspiration from the exemplary Energy Garden activation of Brondesbury Park Station, this map showcases a vision for how London’s overground transport network can be transformed into an instrument for youth-led regeneration and social inclusion by activating all green spaces adjacent to existing overground stations. Reimagining the transport infrastructure as a network of green spaces, the map envisions a future for education, empowerment and climate action.

Eleanor Lygo — 2021.10.8 06:43 PM
Alice Morby — 2021.10.26 11:39 AM

Photo by Davide Giacometti

Alice Morby — 2021.10.28 07:09 AM

Photo by Davide Giacometti

Alice Morby — 2021.10.28 07:09 AM

Welcome to the Energy Garden Network! Brondesbury Park is one of 28 gardens on London’s Overground and Underground railway lines.


We have divided our work into three categories: Environmental, Social & Governance. This is intended as a visual/visceral representation of Publica’s brilliant mapping and design work.


Many of the photos you will see include our youth trainees. Each year, Energy Garden runs a paid, accredited youth training programme for young Londoners who are underrepresented in the sustainability sector. These young people gain experience in urban sustainability topics and are supported to start their careers in the field.

We invite you to join our trainees and volunteers on the ground in gardens, in workshops in railway arches, and on rooftops across London. Find out how they are re-shaping the built environment and transport networks toward a more sustainable future. All aboard!

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 02:28 PM

The 2021 Energy Garden Youth Training Cohort at their graduation ceremony in the garden at Brondesbury Park Station in September. Photo by Valentina Schivardi.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 11:54 AM

How do we reach a zero-carbon railway system? Start with a paradigm shift. With the backdrop of a diesel train, volunteer and beekeeper Shelagh introduces the idea of community gardening on a train platform to interested commuters. Brondesbury Park, 2016. Photo by Kristian Buus.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:33 PM

Increasing biodiversity: an embankment at Rectory Road Station planted by local residents. Photo taken six months to the day after removing >100kg rubbish from the site including heavy metals that were toxifying the soil. A recent biodiversity survey showed species density of over 20 species per square metre.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:37 PM
Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 02:10 PM

Local food production: a typical monthly harvest by the group at Finchley Central Station in North London. This group donates their surplus to a local community food hub.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:40 PM

Improving air quality: a recently planted collection of escallonia and hebes planted for beauty but also to filter harmful pollutants from a nearby bus stop outside Chingford Station.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 10:59 AM

Generating clean energy: a solar array installed on the roof of a building on Elmore House in Loughborough, London. Energy Garden’s first solar project is projected to save 1,020 tonnes of carbon over its 20-year lifetime.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:43 PM

Soil health: children from the Crouch Hill community take part in soil sampling with trained ecologist Naomi, who also happens to be a Community Engagement Officer at Energy Garden. Most trackside soils are heavily toxified from decades of neglect and from being used as a dumping ground for heavy metals from the rail. Energy Garden reverses this trend by removing the metals and replacing them with plants that fix healthy chemicals into the soil.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:45 PM
Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:23 AM

What is a flourishing garden?

We may dream of a thriving patch of green, humming with a rich mix of birds, insects, and wildflowers, but unfortunately, a barren landscape of over- tended hot house flowers and grass monocultures is what is too often sold to us as the archetype of gardens. Dead spaces that are reliant on chemicals manufactured by corporations who destroy the natural world not only contribute nothing environmentally but can be actively detrimental to the health of the planet.

Every green space in our increasingly concrete world is an opportunity for positive change. A tiny garden in the middle of London isn’t going to stop the climate crisis. But a crisscrossing web of green corridors across a city does have a genuine, measurable effect on carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Each plot is a chance to create a tiny oasis that connects to others to create a winding network of life and health through our urban sprawl.

Yes, the spaces we are dealing with are small, but we shouldn’t underestimate nature's incredible ability to be a positive catalyst, its tenacious capacity to adapt and to prosper, even in the most unlikely places. In this process, our role is to give it every possible chance to do what it does best. Instead of creating a garden that must struggle with harsh chemicals and constant interference as we wrestle it into the shape we think it should be, how about we nurture it to develop in the way that it naturally does.

This was our aim when we set up our new garden at Willesden Junction; to create a space that grew in harmony with what was already there. To the casual observer, it may have looked like a piece of unremarkable scrub land. But a little investigation showed us that Sweet Peas and Toadflax were blooming there, amidst clouds of Yarrow, bright pink Cranesbill, and purple Speedwell.

We decided to encourage these wildflowers and not crowd them out with competitive exotics. We brought in other native plants that would bloom alongside the current residents. By creating a garden that thrives in the climate we have, we are reducing our need for watering and maintenance, to create a resilient green space that will eventually take care of itself.

Thinking in terms of complete ecosystems helps us to have an empathetic and instinctive understanding of how we should be tending our gardens. A balanced combination of plants creates a rich soil, which in turn encourages a variety of soil fauna, providing food for birds and supporting nutrient cycling. We need the detritovores to play their part in recycling dead material, as well as a mixture of pollinators such as moths, hoverflies, and beetles, to ensure the constant flowering and fruiting of plants that we rely on.

Nurturing a space in this way isn’t a stagnant process, it is dynamic and fluid. As the climate changes, the type of plants that will happily survive in the UK is evolving, and in response our native fauna is adapting to have a more cosmopolitan diet. We don’t have to be dogmatic and prescriptive, but we should be mindful and observant. If we find ourselves struggling to remove something that’s gone rampant or desperately drip feeding something that’s losing the will, we should probably ask ourselves why, and take the time to assess the broader picture.

We’ve been punishing and brutalising nature for long enough and the consequences of this are all around us. Let our gardens be the first place we start to take a gentler approach and see what benefits we can reap.

Naomi Yamamoto Paine, MSc Plant Diversity | Energy Garden Community Engagement Officer | 09 September 2021 |

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 01:59 PM

Off-grid solar: two 50W panels charge a battery that powers fairy lights in the garden at Forest Hill. Besides generating energy, these panels also encourage conversations around sustainability in the local community.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:48 PM

Skill building: aspiring engineers in the Energy Garden Youth Training Programme get hands on with a solar panel making workshop in UKPN’s Leicester Square office in 2020.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:50 PM
Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 11:11 AM

Off-grid installations: trainees install a solar panel that will power mobile phone chargers at Hampstead Heath Station.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:51 PM

Innovative greening: a plant wall and bug hotel mounted next to the platform at Penge West Station in South London.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 03:54 PM

The Beeline: Brondesbury Park Station is home to two beehives with 40,000 bees who pollinate the garden and provide an annual honey harvest.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 04:00 PM

Water use: a sustainable watering system at Brondesbury Park Station. 4x250L water butts collect rainwater from the roofs of the station; a 50W solar panel powers a battery connected to a water pump in the butts; when switched on, the pump delivers water to a hose. There is one of these systems on each platform at Brondesbury, helping to water over 300m2 of trackside space.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 04:02 PM

Juxtaposing green with grey at West Hampstead, one of the few London Underground stations in the Energy Garden network.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 02:27 PM

Nasturtiums and lavender add colour and scent to the commute at Clapton Station. Photo by Pauline Elevazo

Alice Morby — 2021.10.7 02:52 PM

Before/After at Rectory Road Station in Hackney.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:14 AM

Regular Gardening Sessions | The gardens in our network are run by and for the communities that use the stations.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 02:51 PM

Dig Days | The group at Crouch Hill Station broke ground on the first new Energy Garden since 2018. In successive sessions, they have transformed over 200m2 of rubbish-strewn trackside space into a terraced, crop-growing zone. They harvested over 20kg of produce in their first year.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:46 AM

Codesign of Station Amenities | Parents and children from Crouch Hill drill holes to build a standing bug hotel on the side of a planter overlooking the station.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:48 AM

Biodiversity Action Days | Members of the Brondesbury Park group take part in a Quadrat survey, whereby 1m2 of earth is randomly selected and assessed for its species density. This particular spot was found to have over 12 species of plants.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:47 AM

Hop City | One of the most fun events on the Energy Garden calendar- the annual hops harvest. Wild and cultivated hops grow at 10 station gardens. Each year we pick and sort them to kick off the harvest season.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:49 AM

Beer Brewing | Energy Garden Ale is a community creation, grown on the stations, picked by our volunteers and brewed together with The Goodness Brewing Company in Tottenham. Revenue from the sale of the beer directly supports Energy Garden’s core social & environmental delivery programmes.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:50 AM

Harvest Party | Each October, we have a Harvest Party. The idea is that each of our garden groups contribute a dish made with ingredients they grew. This year’s Harvest Party is at Brondesbury Park Station on 23 October and you are invited!

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:51 AM

Feast | Dishes cooked with garden ingredients for the 2020 Harvest Party.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.8 11:52 AM
Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:25 AM

Social Campaigns | Our social campaign of 2021 was #GrowingHomeLDN. This infographic reflects the 4 seasons and presents 4 ways for the general public to get involved with urban regeneration.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.21 10:44 AM

GrowingHomeLDN Phase 1: Envision & Share | 'Zoom and Bloom' | One of the upshots of adapting to Covid was meeting our groups online. Zoom enabled us to convene groups in the gardening off-season (Dec-Feb). Here, the group from Finchley Central discusses their plans for Spring.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.21 10:48 AM

GrowingHomeLDN Phase 2: Plant, Grow & Share | 'Seed the City' | Another way we engaged with our community groups during Covid was to send seed packets via the post. Our volunteers were then able to propagate plants at home to plant out in the gardens during Spring. We send out ~4,000 seeds to 250 households across London.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.21 10:49 AM

Survey results | We worked with Imperial College MSc student Billie Schlich to study and verify the impact of our #GrowingHomeLDN campaign on volunteers during Covid.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.21 10:51 AM

Billie was also able to survey volunteers on site after lockdown was lifted. The results show the impact of actively engaging with Energy Garden.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.21 10:53 AM

The Energy Garden Ecosystem describes the link between community energy and community gardening. Revenue from community-owned solar provides funding for the maintenance of gardens on the London Overground. This is the overarching innovation of Energy Garden and its main purpose.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 09:54 AM

Garden design workshop: local residents take part in a co-design session where they reimagine their station as a garden.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 09:55 AM

Co-design: this process involves community members of all generations and backgrounds. They become the core of the community group that will maintain the garden going forward.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 09:56 AM

Design presentation: Once the initial design is agreed, we present it to the core community groups for their feedback.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 09:58 AM

Public consultation: The design then enters the public consultation phase where we discuss it out in the community.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:00 AM

Consulting with station staff: we include the station staff in the decision making process.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:01 AM

Drafting the formal design: Begin formalising the community’s design with Adobe inDesign and send it back to the community for their approval.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:01 AM

Finalising the design for rail partners and receiving formal approval.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:02 AM

Launch party: everyone is invited to break ground on the project.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:03 AM

Celebrating the new garden: install complete, it's time to take a break and reflect on our success.

Alice Morby — 2021.10.18 10:11 AM
Repowering Civic Urbanism

Repowering Civic Urbanism

Venice, Online, Workshop

Reimagining Transport Infrastructure for Future Generations

Overview

In response to the 2021 Venice Biennale agenda of ‘How will we live together?’ Publica and Energy Garden are working with young people to explore how London’s transport networks can be transformed into instruments for youth-led climate action and social inclusion at the city scale.

Energy Garden’s youth training programme offers a case study of how to lead the transformation of rail stations, train depots, schools, hospitals and housing estates into community gardens and sites of community energy production. Their site at Brondesbury Park Overground Station demonstrates the enormous potential of these initiatives. Publica have projected how this project could be scaled-up to make a transformative impact across London.

Energy Garden have produced a film to showcase their work at Brondesbury Park station and share the views of 20 young people (16–24-year-olds primarily from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds). Publica and Energy Garden developed key questions for a conversation about potential for youth-led, climate action projects; How climate change will affect local communities and how transport infrastructure could be adapted to create more resilient spaces.

The film will be shown at the Korean Pavilion on the 26th and 27th of October.

Exhibition program participants

Happening now

The Korean Pavilion early space concept and design, 2019

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.14 02:00 AM

Orientation for Future School Broadcasting, Seoul Arko Art Center, Space Feelux, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:50 AM

Setting up Future School Virtual Tour, Seoul Arko Art Center, Space Feelux, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:49 AM

Future School Poster is installed on the front wall in Arko Art Center, Seoul, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:48 AM

The Korean Pavilion, VIP and Press Preview, Venice, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:47 AM

The Korean Pavilion, VIP and Press Preview, Venice, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:46 AM

Future School Online Orientation, Seoul Arko Art Center Space Feelux, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:33 AM

Future School Online Orientation, Seoul Arko Art Center Space Feelux, 2021

Future School Office_Namwoo Bae — The Korean Pavilion Documentation — 2021.12.13 06:33 AM

Exhibition programs

Future School