Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Image of footpath through a space with garden beds either side. (Source: Jasmine Cook 2022)

Preston Park Demonstration Garden, UK

The Preston Park Demonstration Garden is run by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and maintained by a team of local volunteers. The garden is situated on the south-eastern edge of Preston Park, Brighton & Hove’s largest urban park. Brighton and Hove Food Partnership is a non-profit organisation which works with local businesses, other local organisations, residents and the local council to educate people in healthy, affordable and sustainable food systems.

Map of the entire Preston Park, with line highlighting the small area taken up by the demonstration garden. (Source: Friends of Preston Park, edited by author, 2022)

The demonstration garden takes up a very small area of Preston Park. (Source: Friends of Preston Park, edited by author, 2022)

The garden was set up in 2010, with the aim to show residents of the city how attainable it is to grow productive food in limited spaces and within this climate. The garden has grown from the original 5×5 metre plot to a now 22×9 metre plot. The garden contains fruit trees, herbs, root vegetables, rhubarb, berries, legumes, and flowers. There are also community composting bins on the site which is part of a linked but separate program also run by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. This program – called the Community Composting Scheme – involves composting boxes provided by the food partnership placed all over the city where residents can dispose of their organic waste. Next to these composting bins on the Demonstration Garden site, there are also green  waste bins. Even if not a volunteer, community members can wander to the garden and get tips for gardening or composting at home or learn about healthier ways of cooking.

Image of a small plot of fenced off land which has four garden beds within. (Source: Friends of Preston Park 2022)

The garden was significantly smaller when it began in 2010. (Source: Friends of Preston Park 2022)

This kind of productive space within a urban park which hosts a plethora of activities for locals is very reflective of the CPUL concept. To have integrated green spaces of both productive landscapes and leisure areas for the public it disintegrates the separation of conventional idea of agricultural and urban landscapes. However this garden would make this area something closer to the CPUL concept if it were larger, taking up a significant area of the park.

Composting and green waste bins are situated on the exterior edge of a fence off garden. (Source: Jasmine Cook 2022)

Composting and green waste bins are situated on the exterior edge of the garden. (Source: Jasmine Cook 2022)


For further information see the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Website.

Image: The garden is well established in Preston Park after 11 years, with different planters and structures to grow and support different crops. (Source: Jasmine Cook 2022)


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* circular cities* food hubs* landscape* urban agricultureBrighton

Jasmine Cook • 1st May 2017

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