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16.04.2013
"Where there are flowers...


There has been a suggestion that attractive flower beds in the city should be dug up and used to plant vegetables instead. While some think it may be a good idea, others have reservations.
 
The new municipal planting concept is called "Cabbage and Root Crops", with flower beds in public areas such as on roundabouts and around tram stops being planted with kale, beetroot and chard instead of primroses and pansies from 2014 onwards. The idea is that the public would then be able to benefit from the vegetables but they would also be expected to care for them.
 
Lukas Handschin of the Green City Zurich organisation said that he thought the plan would fit in very well with the aim of the city to support the 2000-Watt campaign to save energy but even he had some reservations.
 
"The problem is that not enough people in the city know about growing vegetables. I am sure some would be picked too early while others would be neglected. Furthermore, not all public areas are suitable for growing vegetables. In fact places such as the Alfred Escher Memorial at the Main Station would be far too small to cultivate vegetables. What is more, it could be very dangerous with all the traffic in the area. We cannot allow people to have an accident with a tram while harvesting beetroot. However, places like the Farbhof tram depot of Bürkliplatz would be more appropriate."
 
On hearing about the project, Martin Sturzenegger, the director of the Zurich Tourist Board, said, "We support projects like planting vegetables on places like Bürkliplatz and indeed these are much appreciated by tourists." However he thought so-called urban farming was more appropriate to areas of the city such as Zurich-West, where there were fewer greener areas.
 
Apart from how the city's current flower beds may change in the future, what about the problems of vegetables growing among so much traffic? "Well, you would have to wash them before you eat them of course," said Handschin.


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