Guerilla Gardening in Shanghai


I have been rather neglectful of the blog this year as both Jamie and myself have had an increased workload, this has meant some things have had to slide a little to make room. One of the things that has taken up a lot of my time was my recent trip to China as part of an educational fellowship I undertook with two colleagues.


On our first full day in China we took a wrong turn while walking to the Subway and ended up seeing some of Shanghai’s residential areas.





The people of Shanghai are fighting the increase in pollution by greening up every available space.




This includes lining major arterial roads with planter boxes.

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And filling indoor spaces with air-purifying plants.




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Given that space is a premium I was amazed to discover evidence of guerilla gardening. For the uninitiated, guerilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal right to use. The land is usually abandoned or neglected and is used  by guerilla gardeners to raise plants, either for food or to beautify the area.

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After crossing one of Shanghai’s many waterways I happened to look down over the bridge and discovered a tiny urban farm next to the river and in front of a construction area.




As the days went on I saw many more people growing food underneath two or three tiered roadways, along the highway to the airport, in between high rise buildings and along waterways – most of which I could not photograph as I was in a moving car.


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I will share more gardening stories from China soon.


About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
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4 Responses to Guerilla Gardening in Shanghai

  1. Catherine McMahonz says:

    Love your story about the greening of Shanghai!Shows what can be done with people power!Beautiful photography.

  2. suburbable says:

    I fell in love with rooftop gardens in Vietnam and courtyards throughout Asia. It gave me many lessons in micro gardening.

  3. Would love to go there one day!

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