What do they do? (Description of service idea, e.g. a
community garden, a food coop, etc). What are the demands/
problems this initiative responds to? What is the aim of the
initiative? What happens and how does it happens? What
benefits does it bring to the neighborhood?
The community garden acts as a meeting place for the block/
neighborhood. Members are required to abide by the rules and
respect others. When any type of problem emerges, they hold a
meeting and attempt to solve the problem or have a representative/
director from the board introduce it at the next meeting. Their goal
is to change the atmosphere of the neighborhood, to represent it as
a social gathering place, and to give members an incentive to be
active. They schedule many activities such as dance parties and
annual swap sales to help achieve their goal. These events change
the atmosphere while encouraging people to interact with
neighbors more often.
What is this neighborhood like? How was it before this new
solution took place?
The garden is located on 13th Street between Avenue A and B.
The neighborhood is relatively quiet and not very crowded.
However, there are many bars and nightclubs around the area
which causes the neighborhood to be inactive during day times.
Previously the land had been occupied by two buildings in the
1970s. However, after the two buildings were bulldozed, the park
was created in the place.
1.3 History of the initiative
How did the project/initiative start? Who took the initiative? Why?
Can you describe a timeline of events, highlighting success and failure
aspects, major milestones? How far can you go back? How did this
initiative mature? How did it turn to be a real enterprise? (registered,
formalized etc.) Did it receive public or private support of any kind? Did it
help change the public or policy structure?
Once an occupied building, abandoned in early 1970s, it fell
prey to disrepair and drug trades; it was sleazed by the city and
eventually torn down in 1976. 1978013th St. Block Association
envisioned in its place a community garden and began clearing the
land. Most trees were planted in 1981 by experienced gardeners. In
1998, patio for events were built with support of Trust for Public
Land. Lots of craft classes, musical events, and seasonal parties
were held. A citizen’s committee grant allowed funding solar
powered pond rain water collection system. The garden was named
after a song by Silvio Rodguez.
1.4 Main actors
Who are the users of this initiative? Who are the promoters of this
initiative? Is there a difference between users and promoters or are they
basically the same? Describe users and promoters lifestyles?
Do the users work as a group or groups? Is there a network of related
organizations and/or individuals? Do they have any form of connection or
exchange with other similar initiatives? Was the group inspired by other
examples? Do you know counter examples, (of service ideas that did not
take-off), cases that went wrong?
According to members, no ‘manager’ or ‘administrator’
exists in the garden. A board of voted directors maintains the
direction and timeframe of the garden. Orchestrating involves
yearly events, the budget, and several other plans including
regulations. All users are thus responsible, which makes the
promoters the users. Many members consists of family. However, it
seemed like most of the main users were retired males. They meet
frequently in the garden and help leading each other managing the
garden. Official meetings are held twice a year. There is no
connection or exchange with other community gardens.
What are the technologies that the group uses? How are they
used in system?
One major technology the garden ‘Flores y Dias’ uses is the
plant water system. They collect rain to water the plants in the
garden. Otherwise, the garden is run in traditional way.
Any member who has his/her own plot in the garden is free to
access to the technology, and they enjoy the system and find it to be
very efficient and eco-friendly.
What communication materials do the group have? (e.g.
website, brochures, postcards, etc). What is the main purpose
of these materials? e.g. to keep participants updated about
activities (internal communication) or to get more participants
(external communication)? Does the group want to have more
As said earlier, the garden members hold a meeting every
month to discuss any problem or suggestion that is beneficial to the
garden. Information regarding upcoming events and regulation
changes is exchanged at this time. Also, they have brochures to
inform any prospective and current members about the history of
There is a blog as well, to keep the participants updated
about activities without having to come to the garden. It seems like
all the members are satisfied with the current condition. However,
the board members would like to get more active participants.
1.7. Perspective for the future
What are the perspective/objectives of the group for the next
3-5 years? What are some of the success factors and possible
risks in the short medium and long term?
We believe longevity is a main perspective/objective for this
garden. All of the members would love to see it survive the changes
that the neighborhood is eventually bound to go through, such as
appearance of more bars or night clubs. Members who’ve been
there since the beginning of the garden enthusiastically supports
Leaving it in a traditional, old-fashioned way is what makes
the garden especially attractive. Managing technique could be
improved by changing the rules. For example, few problematic
members who refused to follow the rules which we actually
encountered, can be punished by being suspended from the garden
for a certain period of time.
1.8. Problems and opportunities
Are there any specific issues/problems/barriers that pose
threats to the initiative? Are there any main areas of concern
among the participants (leaders and users alike)? Are there any
opportunities that could be explored (that are currently not
There didn’t seem to be any specific issues that ‘pose
threads’ to the members. However, their prominent concern is
funding for a new fence- the city cannot and will not provide funding
because the the change is for aesthetic value only. They plan to
apply for a grant.
At the meeting we attended, they attempted to bring up the
issues and systematic ways to solve them. Some resolutions didn’t
seem so helpful– better communication would be improve the
1.9. Indications of other social innovation
Do the users participate in other entrepreneurial endeavors? Do they form
small initiatives on their own? Are members involved in other
“sustainable” services within the community? (Ex. Food Co-op,
carpooling, community gardens, etc)? Do you see evidence of wider
networks that these users contribute to?
The majority of the members are all-time employees in
various positions from sales person to retiree. One member would
bring fish from his fishing trips to grill in the garden for others
voluntarily. Actions in that matter such as bringing snacks and
hosting parties for everyone happens often in this garden.
As far as the board knows, there isn’t any member who is
involved in “sustainable” services within the community.
Website of the initiative
Interviewee name and contact information (email, address, phone
Other references (websites, articles, other people we should talk to)
Many of information data were from observations and
-Dias y Flores blog
-Members at the meeting: Julie, Beth, Crover, Joanne, Everret, and
Leselle—the board members. (We were unable to meet with the
Quantitative Data Exercise
How many members does the initiative have? How many are very active
in the initiative? How does individual spaces compare with shared/group
spaces? How many members are involved in other community-based
services? (Food Co-op, activist orgs, clothes swapping, bike sharing, etc.)
What is the size of the initiative in square footage?
Please take close-up detailed photos due to the
winter conditions of gardens (ex. Buds, small
greenery, tools, gathering spaces, colorful
Photos may ONLY be taken with a high
megapixel digital camera (no iphone photos or
low resolution photos)
Choose highest picture quality setting that
Always ASK permission before taking photos or
footage of people and/or spaces
See Release Form on the final page of this
document. You MUST have Release Form(s)
signed by the photo/footage subject.
1.1 The general context (e.g. landscape, urban area, etc)
1.2 The close context (e.g. the neighbourhood, etc)
1.3 The place from outside (e.g. building, house, etc)
1.4 The entrance (e.g. signage, access door or gate, etc)
1.5 The place from inside (e.g. dedicated room, private places,
gazebo, pond, planting areas, recreational areas, etc)
2.1 Two to three typical users (show them in different
situations, e.g. portrait/standing, in-action, etc)
2.2 The organiser/provider (portrait/standing, in-action, etc)
2.3 Show something characteristic of the user’s motivation to
2.4 Show the key participants in the service/organization (e.g.
leaders, gatekeepers, organizers, connectors, innovators, etc)
3. Material Artifacts
3.1 Show communication materials of the organization
(leaflets, signage, etc)
3.2 Could you show essential objects that users interact with,
or that provide key moments in the service?
3.3 Could you show evidence of entrepreneurial work by users
or providers? Show intangible/tangible innovations created by
users or providers.
4.1 Could you show participant benefits? organiser benefits?
collective benefits? environmental benefits? economical
5. Perspectives for the future
5.1 Could you show the future perspectives of the solution?
Please take footage of the following:
The person/people you are interviewing. Ask them to introduce
themselves, their role in the organization, and a brief description of
the organization (30 sec)
A brief history of the organization (15-30 sec)
A typical activity taking place in the space including participants
of the organization (30 sec-1 min)
Participants of the organization interacting with each other (30
Participants of the organization interacting with the space/props/
objects (30 sec)
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