Co-creation and First Steps of Multi Kulti Urban Garden
Multi Kulti Garden is an open and democratic place for a meeting between Bulgarians and foreigners, which supports the two-way integration process through shared cultivation of edible and decorative plants from all over the world, organising community and cultural events and exchanges. The garden empowers migrants, refugees and the local community by including them in a project to co-create a multicultural city garden where they will have their own ideas, views, as well as spices, herbs, vegetables from their countries of origin. Studies have shown that soil and plant work has a beneficial impact and reduces levels of stress and anxiety. In many European countries it is being applied as a light therapy for refugees and migrants who are just getting used to their new country, as well as for all who live under stress.
The garden also aims to:
(1) develop a community around it actively looking for sustainable green urban solutions related to waste reduction and recovery, improving air cleanliness, enhancing urban spaces, creating urban oases,
(2) create a sustainable model for green urban innovation that can be applied elsewhere for social purposes,
(3) assist Sofia Municipality in promoting and implementing its green policies,
(4) put Sofia on the map of good European practices in the field of sustainable urban development through community agriculture.
The idea for the garden was born after a one-year collaboration with the CasciNet association in Milan on a TANDEM Europe project “New Roots: Migrants meet Communities through culture, agriculture and food“, in which we organised a multicultural festival in Milan in October 2018. Inspired by his success, we want to create such a multicultural garden in Sofia as well as the New Roots Festival in September 2019. Multi Kulti Collective invited Ilona Angelova and arch. Nikola Vasilev (part of UrbaCulture team) to design, build and facilitate the events at the garden together.
The garden is part of the Multi Kulti Center in Sofia (5, Chernomen Str.). Тhe space is provided free of charge by our partners Caramel.bg – a French bakery owned by Hany Tawk. They are part of our community and shared garden too. The garden also offers a green solutions for the center itself – it often hosts cooking classes hosted by migrant chefs. The biodegradable waste from the classes will be composted, and spices and vegetables will be grown by its community.
Want to join?
The garden is open to all residents and visitors of Sofia, Bulgarians, foreigners, young people, adults, representatives of all vulnerable groups. You are welcome to take care of it together! If you have a collaboration idea, please email us! Follow the Multi Kulti Facebook page as well as the special garden group for more information.
News and updates:
- Urban garden Multi Kulti – Co-creation vol. 4: Work continues (30 July 2019)
- Urban Gardening in Bulgaria and Around the World – an interview with Dona Pickard, PhD (in Bulgarian) (27 July 2019)
- Urban garden Multi Kulti – Co-creation vol. 3: Building (28 June 2019)
- Urban garden Multi Kulti – Co-creation vol. 2: Planting (30 May 2019)
- Urban garden Multi Kulti – Co-creation vol. 1: Site preparation (24 April 2019)
Time frame: March – October 2019
Funding: Sofia Municipality under the Social Innovation Programme 2019