Kingston graduate Will Sandy returned to Landscape Interface Studio last week to present his Edible Bus Stop Project to Landscape Architecture students. Will and fellow founder Mak Gilchrist designed a landscaping project to transform neglected sites across London’s bus network into valuable community growing spaces. The Edible Bus Stop, was shortlisted in the grassroots community category of the Observer Ethical Awards, and is quickly gathering interest and support from communities around London.
The project started along the 322 bus route from Clapham to Crystal Palace, when more than 40 people turned up to guerilla garden a neglected plot of land next to the 322 Lambeth Hospital bus stop. Endorsed by the council, the project’s mission was simple – to create a lush, organic growing space for edibles and non-edibles, supporting community cohesion along the way.
“One of the most interesting parts of working on the Edible Bus Stop is the opportunity it creates for conversations and meetings to happen, spaces for people to stop and engage, where normally they would walk past each other,” Will Sandy. Each disused plot of land along the route will become an attractive community landscape, based on designs submitted by university students, recent graduates and emerging practices across London. The Edible Bus Stop issued a design competition brief to students at here at Kingston University to develop ideas for other underused spaces at or near the 20 stops along the line. Installations of the Edible Bus Stop were exhibited at the Chelsea Fringe Festival, the Hampton Court Flower Show and the National Gardening Show in 2012, and will be present at London City Airport for the next three years. Read a review of the Chelsea Fringe Festival featured in The Independent.
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“The Edible Bus Stop germinated from the need for green space within our cities and urban communities. We understand that a brutal landscape makes for a brutal outlook. Therefore, we explore high-end aesthetics at lower-end budgets to create garden designs that promote harmonious community growing spaces, demonstrating that good food and good design is not socially exclusive.
Our objective is to create a network of gardens whereby skills and resources are shared via our Edible Bus Stop umbrella organization. We work closely with communities to provide them with the necessary framework to utilise neglected public spaces in a productive fashion while incorporating the principles of design to raise their profile. To ensure the longevity of this project, we seek committed sponsors to take the concept across London and the United Kingdom.”