Plants and Cities

Green cities, green economies, green lifestyles, green policies, green thumbs – they are all green with the color of plants.

Large parts of our cities are filled with plants. Plants inhabit our gardens, our parks, our urban landscapes, and the pots on our dinner tables. They climb over buildings, hang from our balconies onto the streets, and push through asphalt pavements and concrete walls. They make hotel lobbies look less like offices and offices look less like hotel lobbies. They build the green infrastructures that make cities more resilient in times of rapid ecological changes. No city is smart if it does not know its plants.

We promote the urban culture of plants through:

• Lectures and seminars
• Experiential workshops
• Green space design and consultancy
• Original online content

Plants, Cities and People

Urban life depends on, interacts with, affects and is affected by plant life in innumerable ways.

We buy plants to eat them, or sometimes we grow our own. We give plants as presents, discuss them at conferences, sit in their shade, enjoy all the eco-systemic services they provide, and eradicate them when we call them weeds. Artists love plants, scientists and interior decorators love plants, and so do birds and insects and all other animals that roams our cities, seen and unseen. Many urban sustainability challenges – including food security and sovereignty, climate adaptation, biodiversity conservation, public health, social inclusion and integration, poverty alleviation, scientific, environmental and civic education, cultural heritage preservation and promotion, and resilient landscape design – involve plants, or plant manipulation, in important and widely diverse ways.

We promote human and human-plant urban relations through:

• Individual and group plant therapy sessions
• Team-building sessions
• Internships
• Social Inclusion Programs
• Amateur growers plants-swap days

Rome Plants Lab and Sicily Mother Plants Garden

This is where we work and talk as embodied creatures, and get intimate with plants. The Lab is located in the Monteverde area, Rome south-west. The Garden is located in Fontane Bianche, south-east Sicily.

We choose succulents because they are good teachers of creativity, adaptability, resilience, and persistence; because they are slow and calm; and because they look like beings from another world that are happy to be in this one with us. To the grower, each one has a distinctive history; and to the attentive eye of the observer, each one has a peculiar character.

The Lab and the Garden are places of practices, relations and cultural exploration - not production centers. Our plants are neither mainstream nor standardized: they are many different individuals and offer plenty of difference to enjoy. Each bears the marks of interaction, care and happenstance, and strives to persist and do well with unrelenting dignity. We, the people, all do too; and cities do as well, in their own, scaled-up ways. So these are laboratories of experimentation of intra- and inter-species everyday coexistence, with unlikely touches of urban kindness.