The grass is greener in Lambeth: project aims to map borough’s food growing potential
Janie Bickersteth from Incredible Edible writes…
One thing we are all agreed on these days: we need green spaces. Recently, London residents rated their parks as the most loved spaces in the City – and Lambeth came out top in a poll of London’s parks and open spaces; we are fortunate to have such beautiful parks but lockdown has shown us that we just don’t have enough of these lovely green spaces.
Can you imagine a Lambeth where these spaces are cared for in a similar way to our parks? – where we create bountiful spaces on our estates and street corners that everyone wants to be in, with consideration for wildlife, birds and bees and with abundant food growing everywhere? We know that there are many unloved spaces that could be transformed but we need you to help us identify them. If this excites you, register your interest here today.
We are very excited to be working in partnership with Arup, who will be facilitating research mapping to identify the existing and potential food growing spaces across the whole borough, building a comprehensive food growing map.
We will draw on Arup’s GIS and Landscape Architecture expertise to map and analyse these spaces (i.e. car parks, housing estate lawns, vertical walls, rooftops etc) using free available datasets to identify potential food growing open spaces.
The gaps in the mapping will be filled by Incredible Edible Lambeth and other local groups’ food growing knowledge. The insights on potential food growing spaces will also be verified by Incredible Edible Lambeth members and partners.
The end result of this work will be a digital map with existing and potential food growing spaces in Lambeth, informed by on-site verification by you! We will end up with a foldable printed digital map of Lambeth’s existing and potential growing spaces which we hope will support and enable all of us in our ambition to have food growing within 100metres of every Lambeth home.
Why are we doing this work?
- We are striving to end food poverty by increasing people’s access to healthy, affordable and locally grown and produced food.
- We hope this map will help to reconnect deprived communities to healthier eating and affordable fresh food
- A clear visualisation of the green spaces and potential food growing sites will serve to strengthen the local food system resilience
- The mapping will assist in identifying strategic local food growing and biodiversity restoration locations for communities, landowners and developers in the future, serving as an important spatial database for boroughs and city officials
- The methodology of this project offers the opportunity for scalability and replicability across different boroughs in London and aligns with London’s food strategy while supporting Lambeth’s goals and community aspirations.
Finally – the opportunity to increase people’s access to healthy, affordable and locally grown and produced food is the mission. We hope this insight can contribute towards informing local authority’s future development plans and food resilience strategies.
Incredible Edible is looking for volunteers to help with the project. Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) is a network of around 550 food growers and activists who are working to improve our communities. IEL exists to re-localise the food system in Lambeth so that it nurtures us and strengthens our communities.
We do this by bringing in resources and funding, running programmes and services and advocating for our members and a more localised food system. Find out more here.
Lambeth Life is relaunching in print on the 15th April, distributed to businesses and homes across the borough.
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