Research: Urban Weeding

A weed is a plant out of place. These plants may be unsightly and suggest a lack of care and potential danger. Vacant lots are urban weeds, appearing and remaining as a symptom of environmental degradation. We are proposing to use what we have learned from weeds to develop temporary architecture for vacant lots that both embraces strengths of weeds and creates a place for the native spontaneous plants of Newark. Using the opportunistic nature of weeds, this architecture can seek vacant lots as they appear in the city and spread through them creating surfaces for the growth of spontaneous plants in a way that doesn’t degrade the urban environment. By making vacant lots useful during their vacancy, they will no longer be urban weeds. The spontaneous plants themselves, out of the way and providing environmental services to the city will also no longer be weeds.

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