Edible Outdoor Rooms installation

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Community engagement was key in creating <em>Edible Outdoor Rooms</em>.

Community engagement was key in creating Edible Outdoor Rooms.

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Edible Outdoor Rooms. Image: Frost Design

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This installation in Surry Hills, Sydney, aims to create a more community-focused and pedestrian-friendly public space.

Part of an ongoing project that aims to activate under-utilized public spaces, the installation seeks to improve the amenity of Foster Street, Surry Hills. The installation consists of areas of public seating that include planters filled with an assortment of edible plants, which are cared for by the local community. These small spaces, or “parklets,” allow the public to sit and enjoy the sunshine, and perhaps even pick some herbs.

Community engagement is, and was, crucial in creating these green public spaces along the street. The project is intended to demonstrate how small-scale creative projects can be a means of strengthening community ties and re-thinking the distinction between green and urban spaces.

Edible Outdoor Rooms will be officially opened on 23 February. Local chef Hamish Ingham, from Bar H, will run workshops in the following weeks to teach interested people how to grow, prepare and cook with edible plants that are grown in urban spaces.

Edible Outdoor Rooms is a collaboration between residents, workers, business owners and, design and landscape professionals – including Sam Crawford Architects, Jan Irwin Landscape Architects and Bates Landscape – that is aimed at enlivening Sydney’s public spaces. The exhibition is hoped to be a precursor to permanent improvements and widening of the footpaths along Foster Street. It is the first realized project of the Rawson Lane Arts Association – a group of committed arts professionals who work together to bring local creative energy, original projects and new audiences to the local community and businesses.


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