If you live in a large city or town you’ll know it is not easy to find a bit of peace and quiet. For far too long city councils have focused on building more, bigger and taller and ignored the fact that a human living in their city might also want the occasional tree, plant or flower to look at. Luckily this is changing and in a lot of cities the weirdest places are being turned into (vegetable) gardens by authorities or private persons.
Japanese girl clad in traditional rice reaping outfit harvests rice in Roppongi, Japan. Yuriko Nakao/REUTERSThe rooftop garden of Vivien Eakin on a high-rise residential building overlooks other flats in Hong Kong May 2, 2007. Bobby Yip/REUTERSFurn Li prunes his plants in his apartment garden on the twelfth floor balcony of a government-built high-rise in Singapore May 5, 2007. The rapid post-sixties rise of the urban tower block saw Asia’s low-level landed properties demolished for mass housing Asia’s low-level landed properties demolished for mass housing projects; and made backyards the domain of the minority who can afford detached homes. It also created an unique urban gardening culture which is starting to flower as new voices popularise the idea. Stanley Lim/REUTERS
The first green building on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kevin Lamarque/REUTERSThe Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is seen in Wallington. Kieran Doherty/REUTERSView of the 30-meter vertical garden in the courtyard of the Pershing Hall hotel in the 8th district of Paris. Charles Platiau/REUTERSA farmer walks through government organoponic farm Bolivar 1 in Caracas. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS
A rooftop garden on a building across the street from the International Covention Centre where the COP17 continues in Durban. Rogan Ward/REUTERSA rooftop garden on a building across the street from the International Convention Centre where the COP17 continues in Durban. Rogan Ward/REUTERSA woman reads a book in a rooftop garden of an apartment building overlooking a residential area of Tokyo August 5, 2002. Trapped by concrete and asphalt, heat from heavy traffic and millions of air-conditioning units have made summer in the cities hotter – a phenomenon known as heat-island effect. By converting a bare roof top into a green oasis, it helps absorb heat and keeps temperatures inside the building lower. REUTERS/Yuriko NakaoMaria Fernanda walks next to an urban vegetable garden in Iztapalapa district. Henry Romero/REUTERSA man works in an urban garden in Havana. STR New/REUTERSA workman mows the grass roof of a government building near the capital city of Torshavn. Bob Strong/REUTERSA Guerrilla Gardener unloads flowers from a car before planting them on a spot of urban wasteland in south London April 22, 2008. The ‘Guerrilla Garderners’ work under the cover of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their tactics are anarchistic, their attitude revolutionary. Their aim: to beautify. REUTERS/Alessia PierdomenicoWorker climbs among skylights on living roof at California Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco. Robert Galbraith/REUTERSPeople walk past the garden barges at Reeds Wharf in London September 28, 2008. Picture taken September 28, 2008. Luke MacGregor/REUTERS
Orgeval yellow courgettes from the vegetable kitchen garden installed on the roof of La Mutualite building in Paris. Philippe Wojazer/REUTERSSibylle, biotechnology engineering student, collects Orgeval yellow courgettes from the vegetable kitchen garden installed on the roof of La Mutualite building in Paris. Philippe Wojazer/REUTERSLebanon’s Hezbollah activists plant flowers at site where opposition had maintained protest encampment in downtown Beirut. Jamal Saidi/REUTERSMargarets are in full bloom in an indoor garden set up in an office building in Tokyo February 10, 2005. Various artificial lighting is provided in a number of rooms where herbs, vegetables and rice are being grown by Pasona Inc, with hopes to bring awareness about agriculture to city dwellers. Toru Hanai/REUTERSOutside view of the planted face of the Quai Branly museum near the Eiffel tower, April 13, 2006. The walls of the four-storey building, a creation of France’s Patrick Blanc, are entirely cloaked in living vegetation from roof to sidewalk, 15,000 plants and 150 different species. Charles Platiau/REUTERS