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Participatory Design and Self-building / Book publication


Dear all,

I excited to announce my recent book publication with title “Participatory Design and Self-building in Shared Urban Open Spaces: Community Gardens and Casitas in New York City”.The book was published in Springer’s Urban Agriculture Series:

The book investigates the development of community gardens with self-built structures, which have existed as a shared public open space land use form in New York City’s low-income neighborhoods like the South Bronx since the 1970s. It discusses the emergence of shared gardens and self-built structures in European as well as in North American cities and analyzes the impact of stakeholders on the specific development of community gardens in the New York City’s South Bronx. In addition, the book looks at aspects of organizing, planning and governing community gardens and discusses community gardens and self-built structures as a form of cultural expression. The final chapter presents lessons from my field experiences with participatory design of community gardens and self-built structures in New York City.

The book aims to demonstrate that ultimately community gardens with self-built structures are an expression of the people’s will to commonly use this land for open and enclosed structures next to their homes in the city and need to be included in future urban planning.

With this, I hope that the book will contribute to the international discussion of urban gardening and urban agriculture as an urban land use and that it will find broad interest to a wide for supporters of participatory planning and design; for urban agriculture policy making; and for community-based urban gardening and urban agriculture practitioners.

I am currently looking for book review writers as well as for opportunities relating to my book’s research focus such as new collaborations, university teaching positions, postdoctoral fellowships, and conference invitations.

If you know of someone interested in writing a book review or a suitable opportunity relating to the book publication, please contact me under

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,
Carolin Mees