Not in my bat?s yard - Architecture Blogs

Not in my bat?s yard

By turning community spaces into habitats for a protected species, bat boxes throw a wrench into the development process Down a narrow walkway across the road from a large social housing estate in East London?s economically disadvantaged Tower Hamlets borough, the concrete gives way to a tangle of green. Hundreds of plants are crammed into a space the size of a two-car garage, forming a thriving mess of a garden where strawberries ripen and bell-shaped foxglove flowers stand at shoulder height. Just over the fence, the banks of the Regent?s Canal are lined with residential narrow boats, a mostly itinerant, unconventional form of floating affordable housing in one of the most expensive cities in the world. For an area with the highest rate of child poverty in the United Kingdom, the highest unemployment in the city, some of the lowest levels of air quality, and a 19,000-person waiting list for housing, the garden is an oasis in a defoliated urban jungle. Sally Hone is one of the self-described boat people who call this stretch of London?s 8.6-mile canal home, and her pruning shears attempt to bring order to the dozens of species teeming in the garden. Ducking under the drooping, fruit-laden branches of an apple tree, she turns back and confronts the obvious. ?You can tell it?s a developer?s dream,? she says.
Hone is the unofficial head of the Canal Club Community Garden. She and her partner, Dominique Cournault, have been licensed since 2010 to cultivate this space, w...
Source: curbed

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