Gardening in cities has a long-standing tradition. The cities of Winterthur and Zurich are renowned for their rich horticultural heritage. City dwellers have a long history of tending allotment gardens. While in the beginning, the focus was on self-sufficiency, these gardens have increasingly become places of recreation and leisure.
City gardening is experiencing a revival with the new trend of ‘urban gardening’. Environmentally friendly practices and the intentional consumption of garden produce are central to urban gardening. Allotments have also acquired social and integrative importance: they are a place where people from different social backgrounds can meet, build their community and help look after their neighbourhood.
City gardening is actively encouraged in Zurich and Winterthur, where the local authorities lease plots of land for use as allotments, or allow waste ground to be cultivated until it is otherwise needed. These cities have supported the establishment of creative gardens which are accessible to the residents of the neighbourhoods for collective use and cultivation.