Introduction: Reclaiming Waste(d) Land

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In front of apartment buildings there's often a beautiful green lawn which sole purpose is to be looked at, even though apartment dwellers often lack a nice outside area...

What a waste of space...

This Instructable gives a friendly, fun and foremost harmless way of reclaiming some green space for and with the help of the neighbours.

A nice side effect is that it also helps to build community...

Step 1: Scout for a Suitable Location

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If your mission is to reclaim land for yourself and your neighbours, it is kind of obvious to look for a location around your own apartment building. If you're feeling cheecky and are in for some kind of fun trouble, look for random apartment buildings overlooking a central plot of land.

For organising purposes and the good of the common public, this central place should be easily accessible from the street, so a closed off court garden might not be your first pick.

Count the number of possible allies that are living in these buildings. Checking the number of mailboxes will give you a clear indication and the possibility to jot down names for the invitations.

Roughly measure (by pacing it for example) how long the outline of the plot is for step 2

Step 2: Create an Inviting Border

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There's nothing like a brightly coloured line of party flags to create new and open borders for your newly claimed land. They also clearly state that something fun is going to happen here, inviting people over and in.

Prepare a starting length at home to have sufficient party flag line to "fence off" the reclaimed space.

During the action you can make the line longer. Ask the people you invited to contribute some pieces of old cloth too. It will help them to feel more involved. You can sew flags on the spot and use the extra length to fill in the space or reclaim a bigger piece of the lawn. Maybe you'll all end up making flags together!

You'll need;
- a table and chair
- an A3 sheet of paper
- scissors
- a pen
- pieces of cloth in bright colours;
think of old tea towels, dresses, blouses, shawls,
pieces of fabric that were meant to become something
but never did etc. etc.
- a sewing machine
- electricity (try conspiring with one of the people living on floor level to "borrow" some)
- sewing yarn in funky colours
- iron and ironing board
- biaisband or keperband


For a step-by-step description of how to make the party flags just scrol over the pics below.

Step 3: Inviting the Users

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Make invitations clearly stating
when (date and time) and where the people are invited.
Maybe explain a bit about your motives...

Also ask your allies-to-be to bring;
- Old scraps of fabric in bright colours and/or clothes that can be cut up
- Some food or drinks to share
- Things they use to have a good time and amuse themselves and others; guitars, BBQ, games, magic tricks, deck chairs, picknick blankets and so on.

Deliver the invitations... and wait till D-Day!

Step 4: D-Day!

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What to bring:

- Everything on the list for making the party flags
- The pre-prepared party flag line
- A ladder to hang the flags and force people on the lower floors off their balcony
- Food and drinks
- Some fun stuff (for when you get fed up with sewing or somebody else takes over)


Put up the flags and start sewing or just doing whatever you like, using the reclaimed space...

Mission accomplished.



Comments

author
saskianunez made it! (author)2009-01-19

A very beautiful concept! The flags turned out gorgeous and strong. I wish you could have done the workshop with the old pieces of textiles though. I would have enjoyed listening to the stories of the different people. A grey concrete block of building certainly flowers up with the flags! It's a nice and colorful improvement. Keep it up! I'm in for the summerproject!

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