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Future of allotments in the UK: Manchester City Camp
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Future of allotments in the UK: Manchester City Camp

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  • 1. The Future of Allotments in the UK. Growing Manchester:
    an open data story
    Farida Vis
    University of Leicester [department of Media and Communication]
    fv12@le.ac.uk - @flygirltwo
  • 2. The Future of Allotments in the UK:
    Part of a larger project
    With Yana Manyukhina (Leicester)
    Print media representation of allotments in UK press
    Local policy and tenancy agreements
    With Simon Faulkner (MMU)
    Heritage identities, return of The Diggers in times of economic crisis, Diggers festivals
    With the Open Knowledge Foundation (and Joao Cabrita)
    Allotment Finder – online tool to locate nearest allotment + info about waiting list, rent, water charges, discounts, other conditions
  • 3. Allotment holder | ex committee member | McR based
    Political participation – (active) citizenship, voice and listening
    Everyday really useful open data
    Common land, the commons, openness, sharing with others
    Sustainable platform politics and local (data driven) journalism
    Social change – community engagement
    Local case studies – multiple angles
    Use of social media (online archiving – FB and YouTube)
  • 4. Waiting list crisis (our local site) – Transition Town Kirby, Margaret Campbell
    Grow Your Own | Land Share initiative | guerrilla gardening | alleyway gardens
    Recent changes – rent increases, water rates, tenancy agreements
    Threat to the Allotment Act – Clause 23 (Very limited government consultation )
    Localism Bill
    Limited media coverage
  • 5. With Yana Manyukhina (Leicester)
    Print media representation of allotments in UK press
    Local policy and tenancy agreements
  • 6. With Simon Faulkner (MMU)
    Heritage identities, return of The Diggers in times of economic crisis, Diggers festivals
    GerrardWinstanley Festival – Wigan, 10th of September 2011
    Rediscovering local/personal history and heritage + fight the cuts
  • 7. Ashton Allotment Action
  • 8. 1996 – M60, land taken back by the Council. Given to local estate agent. Not yet returned to allotment stock.
    Public space? Now privately owned
    Space denied
  • 9. Current waiting lists stats: 700 people on waiting lists for Tameside Council Allotments.
    Half (350) waiting for Ashton Moss – some as long as 8 years – A dormant creative public.
    ‘On St. George’s Day, Saturday 23rd of April, 2011, we started a Green Revolution in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside, in the tradition of English Radical group The Diggers who during the period of the English Commonwealth, in 1649 reclaimed the common land of St. George’s Hill from the Lords of the Manor by digging and cultivating it.’ [www.bobsbackyard.co.uk/AAA]
    ‘…we invite others who are on the waiting list for allotments on Ashton Moss and anyone else who supports what we are doing to come and join us’ [ibid]
    ‘We call on the Council, as a matter of urgency to call a meeting of all of the people who are on their waiting list for an allotment on Ashton Moss, in order to facilitate the allocation of allotment association to administrate and manage the Ashton Allotment site. We call on Cordingleys to immediately hand over the allotment to Tameside Council as a matter of urgency’. [ibid]
  • 10. The Diggers
    1649 - 1651
    GerrardWinstanley
    ‘Winstanley declared that: “true freedom lies where a man receives his nourishment and preservation, and that is in the use of the earth”. [ibid]
  • 11. Saturday digs – food and drink provided
  • 12. National and local media coverage
    The One Show, Radio 4, BBC Manchester
  • 13. Open data & data journalism
    Allotment Finder – tool
    Open Knowledge Foundation | Data GM
    Local government – Trafford Council
    Really useful open data
    Everyday (trash, allotments, childcare)
    Finding the data (Data GM, FOI requests WhatDoTheyKnow.com, The Guardian data store)
    Finding stories in the data
    Data literacy
    Working together (Help Me Investigate)
  • 14. Due to waiting list crisis and GYO popularity – new growing initiatives. Maps show availability
  • 15. Mapping plots in Manchester – AMAS (incomplete) + Trafford (open data of allotment locations released by the council)
  • 16. Collecting data = time consuming (mainly not available). Not precise
  • 17. Assessing sustainability in Greater Manchester – mapping growing possibilities, resources + info with precise data
  • 18. Trafford allotment (point data) mapped on Ordinance Survey ward boundaries
  • 19. Trafford allotment (point data) mapped on Ordinance Survey ward boundaries
  • 20. Trafford allotment (point data) - detail
  • 21. Trafford allotment (point data) - detail
  • 22. Assessing sustainability in Greater Manchester – mapping growing possibilities, resources + info with clean data
    Growing Manchester
    Combine efforts with existing organisations and initiatives
  • 23. If interested, please get in touch
    Farida Vis – fv12@le.ac.uk
    @flygirltwo

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