Havana's popular gardens:sustainable prospects for urban agriculture
- Cite this article as:
- Chaplowe, S.G. The Environmentalist (1998) 18: 47. doi:10.1023/A:1006582201985
With the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and its economic support in 1989, as well as the tightening of the US economic embargo, Cuba has been forced to explore sustainable agriculture as a source of food security. This paper examines Havana's popular gardens, an important feature in Cuba's recent emphasis on self-reliant agriculture. Popular gardens are small plots of state-owned land that have been promoted since 1991 throughout Havana and other Cuban cities in response to recent food shortages. The popular gardens are a unique form of socialist agriculture which offer valuable insight into urban food production during economic crisis. They have emerged in the absence of land markets, with active government support and with widespread community organization and participation. The continued success of the gardens, however, is contingent on underlying political and economic factors.