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2018 Public Space Invitational: Community Gardens

In summer 2018, we called for innovative design installations at three community gardens.

For the 2018 competition, we focused on community gardens. The competition was a collaboration between:

You can learn more about the contest — and the projects — below.

Still have questions? Contact:
New Urban Mechanics
1 City Hall Square
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02201
Public Space Invitational

Our open call for temporary and delightful interventions in the public realm.

Invitational information


For this competition, we called for installations at three community gardens:

  1. Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester
  2. Chilcott and Granada Community Garden in Jamaica Plain, and
  3. the Fenway Victory Gardens.

The three winning projects connected neighborhoods and the gardens. They supported talks and storytelling, dinners, and theater.


The Trustees partnered with the three artist teams to run 12 more community programs. They also saw a 20 percent increase in engagement with local residents.

Trailer Made

Trailer Made is a solar-powered, towable, modular community gathering space. The goal was to spark creativity and community growth.  The project relied on locally sourced and recycled materials.

The structure featured:

  • an events space with tables and chairs
  • interactive "planter" sculptures
  • educational panels with chalkboards
  • electricity and lighting for events, and
  • a phone-charging station.

Project location:

  • Fenway Victory Gardens
  • Chilcott and Granada Community Garden
  • Nightingale Community Garden

Proposed by: Andrea Fossa and Robert Barella

Cross Pollination

Cross Pollination was a project at the Nightingale Community Garden. The project shared cultural and garden resources between:

  • gardeners and wildlife
  • local poets, and
  • Boston's residents.

Cross Pollination is the creation of:

  • Claudia Paraschiv, a registered architect
  • Annie Scott, an ecological landscape designer, and
  • Azia Carle, a fine artist.

With the help of the community, the artists created pollinator-pots. They planted the pots with native flowers. The goal was to attract bees and butterflies that would benefit the gardens.

The pots were "planted" with African print fabrics that created "shade flowers" for gardeners. These shade flowers also attracted residents walking by with their bright colors and poetic messages. Planting and shade-flower making were among the planned community events.

Proposed by:

  • Claudia Paraschiv
  • Annie Scott
  • Azia Carle

Location: Nightingale Community Garden

Celebrate and Activate

Image for celebrate and activate

Nightingale Community Garden features gardeners from more than a dozen countries. Celebrate and Activate honored the diversity of the garden through:

  • interactive theater performances, and
  • the creation of banners based on national flags.

Melissa Nussbaum-Freeman, Director of Red Sage Stories, led the project with Ayako Maruyama, Creativity Lab Design Lead at ds4si. The project also used the compost area of the garden for:

  • interactive storytelling (on the themes of sowing, weeding, harvesting, and composting)
  • colorful art installations
  • activities for children, and
  • sharing food at four garden-cycle themed events..

Proposed by:

  • Melissa Nussbaum,
  • Ayako Maruyama
  • Maria Hendricks
  • Raquel Saenz
  • Adilson Barros
  • Dana Watkins
  • Prema Bangera
  • Sonya Joyner
  • Carrington Moore, and
  • Arthur Williams III

Location: Nightingale Community Garden, Dorchester

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