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2020 Public Space Invitational

At the height of the pandemic, we partnered with The Trustees, TD Bank, and six artists to bring art and fresh vegetables to over one hundred families throughout Boston.

Since 2014, we have sought ideas on how to make Boston’s public spaces more delightful and beautiful through the Public Space Invitational, our annual civic design competition.

Before the pandemic, we had an ongoing partnership with The Trustees and TD Bank to bring new ideas and events to Boston's green spaces. Starting in 2018, we brought community dinners, interactive play installations, and storytelling and songwriting workshops to five community gardens and green spaces.

Our focus has always been on shared spaces. However, in the age of physical distancing, many of us were confined to our homes and found it increasingly difficult to connect with our neighbors. While we could no longer ask people to gather together outside, we explored new ways to bring the joy of being outdoors to places closer to home.

We decided to bring a slice of Boston's green spaces, namely community gardens, to homes in three neighborhoods in Boston. We partnered with six artists to customize sets of window boxes, planters, pots, and birdhouses. When the artists were finished, The Trustees planted a mix of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil in the window boxes, planters, and pots at City Natives, The Trustees native plant nursery in Mattapan. Artists then worked with community gardeners and New Urban Mechanics to distribute the items at three neighborhood gardens and green spaces: Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, El Jardín de la Amistad in Roxbury, and Titus Sparrow Park in the South End.

For those interested in learning more about public space projects during the pandemic, please watch our retrospective:

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