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recycling anti-gardens

Gardens are places in which things grow. Gardens have the potential to reveal the values of individuals and society. If gardens are places where things grow, anti-gardens would be places where discarded things die.

Over the last 140 years, the growth of Cape Town was majorly influenced by the things and the people the city regarded to be waste. The city centre received garden upgrades while the things and the people the city regarded to be waste were discarded to the anti-gardens at its ever-broadening periphery. The city became “cleaner” while dirt was disposed of adjacent to the people the city deemed to be “dirty”.

Environmental, social, and economic sustainability are interdependent. Environmental health is affected by the things we discard. The poor are most affected by the destruction of the environment. Our economic system creates waste while being dependant on the availability of natural resources. Anti-Gardens in Cape Town, however, reveal a historic disconnect between environmental, social, and economic sustainability which is still apparent today.

My study will focus on the recycling of landfill anti-gardens as a means of overcoming the disconnect between environmental, social, and economic sustainability to create a garden in which discarded people and things can find new life.

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andré coetzee

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