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Youth created Gaia’s Garden brings fusion skills to life in the City of London

A community-built public garden has opened in the City of London, offering free workshops and events to Londoners looking to learn more about sustainability.

Named after the Greek Goddess of Earth, Gaia’s Garden will provide a summer oasis in the heart of the City of London until September 2021 and is located at 61 Holborn Viaduct, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.

As well as a place to socialise and relax, visitors to the garden can learn about sustainability through workshops, installations and performances, using art, fashion, and music to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world.

Award-winning creative studio Play Nice is spearheading the project in partnership with London-based property developer Dominvs Group to platform the ideas of the young people on The Pattern, a cultural incubator programme launched after Play Nice won the £50,000 Fusion Prize – a Culture Mile initiative, in partnership with Foundation for Future London — earlier this year.

Gaia’s Garden was conceptualised by five young female creatives from across fashion, graphic design, movement, music, and photography. Mentored by Noga-Levy Rapoport, an ambassador for the UK Student Climate Network, the group’s vision is to present sustainability through a more inclusive and feminist lens.

Over 200 young people from across the capital were recruited to help with everything from gardening, building, and curating a live events programme of workshops, talks and performances focused on climate change, sustainable practices and people.

Full programme details will be announced during Gaia’s Garden launch on Saturday 31st July and will be available online. The programme includes contributions from online education platform and community Climate in Colour, climate activists UK Student Climate Network UKSCN,  Sound Advice  — a London-based platform dedicated to tackling spatial inequality- – and award-winning UK hip-hop dance company, Boy Blue.

The garden’s sustainable landscape was designed by urban transformation charity Urban Growth, with temporary structures made from material sourced from nearby construction sites. Once the project finishes, these temporary structures will be redistributed across London, finding continued use in local communities across the capital.

Across four days in May, volunteers helped to transform the city centre site made available by Dominvs Group into a thriving, verdant escape from the heat and noise of London, building planters, with flowers, shrubs, and trees, timber backdrops and breakout pods with layered pallets for seating, as well as erecting a stage that will host the live events programme this summer.

For more information, see gaiasgarden.london. 

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