Saint Petersburg Urban Gardening Club
Thanks to artist Camilla Berner who has done the original research on Skt Petersburg Urban Gardening Club and presented it at the Charlottenborg Autumn exhibition 2002 in Denmark. It is trough this exhibition, that I learned of the projects of the organization

The below information, is based on the organizations homepage, not on personal research, some information might therefor be incorrect.

Vegetables are grown in boxes


St. Petersburg Urban Gardening Club is a NGO organisation that in 1993 made a rooftop garden for growing vegetables on top of a housing complex.The club was driven by ideas on ecology and a better environment in the city, but it was also important that residents who didn't own their own land could have the possibility to produce vegetables for their own use or for the local marked in an economy as the Russian where up to 60% of the income is used for food. It showed trough experiments that vegetables produced on the rooftop contained less heavy metals than those from the marked, and in all cases below the allowed levels.

The club expanded it's gardening activities into also containing a social aspect and in 1995 they opened a vegetable garden in an overcrowded prison in St. Petersburg housing 10.000 inmates. The garden served to grow food for the inmates but also as an educational activity in an elswise boring everyday.In 1998 a therapy garden was established in relation to an institute for artificial limbs for persons that lost a limb in war trough illness or accident. The garden should be a place for dealing with the transition from despair to hope and reconciliation with the new life that has to be lead, and as well as a place for education and rehabilitation.The same year a project was established where an entire housing complex with 540 inhabitants was thought as a local economic and mini economic whole. The project also integrated social ideas and should at the same time create local employment. A work exchange system type LETS is also under preparation. The residents compost their household waste in the cellar, and the soil is then carried to the roof where vegetables are grown.Lately St. Petersburg Urban Gardening Club has established a rooftop garden on top of a primary school, where the garden is integrated into the biology classes. It is seen as a model on how to integrate learning and a green environment, and at the same time make room for silent activities like reading and drawing.

Similar housing are seen in the background


The garden in the Kresty prison


Social and ecological project in a whole housing complex (see more)

Roofgarden on primary school


St. Petersburg Urban Gardening Club

WHO report on rooftop gardening in St. Petersburg (.pdf)