Provo is beefing up its urban food production and those efforts are drawing national attention. But if the city and its employees can only do so much, how can Provo continue to grow greener?
An award winning project in Detroit suggests that corporate sponsorship might be one answer. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, Lafayette Greens is a sponsored project that
brings urban agriculture, community gardening, productive landscapes and the entire conversation about the food movement into the heart of downtown Detroit. A productive vegetable garden that also functions as an engaging public space, it is a tangible expression of the possibilities for integrating urban agriculture into city spaces and city life in a way that is participatory, beautiful and productive.
The project is just under half an acre and occupies the site of a recently demolished building. It’s owned by Compuware.
From the look of it, this garden appears like it has the potential to become a great space and if nothing else it’s vastly superior to the demolition site it replaced. The project is also designed with long-term sustainability in mind, which can be a problem in un-sponsored community gardens.
There’s also no reason something similar wouldn’t work in Provo. Downtown has fewer corporations than Detroit, but there are corporate headquarters in the area and they might be amenable to something along these lines. Nu Skin and the LDS Church are even planning garden space right now, so making the leap to edible plants isn’t so far fetched.
What seems to be lacking is merely the will to do this. Has anyone contacted Nu Skin, for example, and asked them to plant zucchini or blackberries? I doubt it.
In the end, this project in Detroit creates an interesting public space and offers the chance to produce more food. Those are both things that would be valuable additions to Provo.