This is a story about one group’s effort to reclaim a vandalized space.
By Elizabeth Waddington
November 18, 2021
In spite of fears that vandals would wreck what had been achieved, the site was left unharmed and gradually begin to improve.
One young man, harvesting carrots, admitted that he had been so bored before that he had set fire to a petrol can. Now he was growing his own food. He and his girlfriend had plans to start a windowsill garden in their new rental.
Each day the groups became more involved with one another. Some were keen to learn more about how to grow plants. One evening there was a barbecue and they cooked up some of the things they had grown. Someone had a birthday party and was given a tree, which they planted in a new bed in one corner of the space. The plans were coming together.
This is just one example, and yes, damage may sometimes occur. But as this project shows, when people feel a sense of belonging and a sense of agency and autonomy, they are far less likely to destroy—and far more likely to enjoy communal spaces.
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