South Africa: Bicycles and Gardens - Inspiring Action and Instilling Hope


The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to a number of urban projects that provide opportunities to build community. Among those that are seeding hope and neighbourhood connection are projects that involve gardens and bicycles.

If it weren't for the news of a second wave wreaking havoc in Europe and other parts of the world, one could be forgiven for thinking Covid-19 was just a bad nightmare from which we are starting to wake up.

The desperate levels of unemployment and economic hardship in South Africa, not to mention the tragic loss of life, cannot be disguised and will be present for months, perhaps years to come. Yet, some of the responses to the crisis have shed light on what is possible when people take action in their own neighbourhoods.

There are two things giving me great hope at the moment: gardens and bicycles. In the first instance, I must confess, my thumbs don't have a speck of green on them, despite my mother being an avid gardener who has, since I can remember, spent every moment of her free time looking after her plants. The bicycle, which has made an appearance at key moments throughout my life, most recently in...

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