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VIDEO:Urban food growing in Havanna, Cuba

A clip from the BBC's "Around the World in 80 Gardens" (2008) showing some of the urban food gardening in Havana, Cuba. This series began last Tuesday night on ABC TV. Its' a fascinating series but the Havanna segment is especially potent.

I shared this a year ago, but if you missed the segment here it is.




FLEXABLE POLITICAL WILL

The biggest enabling factor for the success and eventual integration of the work was flexable political will. This is especially true when it comes to land-use policy. Support for sustainable food systems came direct from the top (Fidel) and laws were altered and practises adapted that suited the development of urban agriculture. Roberto noted that this type of change is not so easy in a capitalist system where land has, what he described as, 'different value'. A good example of this flexability is the clearing and cleaning of vacant lots in Havana. As is common in Britian, vacacnt city lots in Havana gathered rubbish and debris (especially in the 1980s). Masses of red tape and petty quarrels between neighbours often kept these lots in a state of dis-repair. Changes in policy allowed these lots to be cleared and used for gardens. Roberto says that in other countries this would probably never happen. In other countries we often see vacant lots gathering rubbish with chain link fences around them preventing any useful use! In Cuba land only has value related to its usefulness, rather than speculative value.

--Robeto Perez



How Cuba Survived Peak Oil --great documentary on the Cuban experience.


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