Karen Madsen, E Magazine
The Liz Christy Community Garden in downtown Manhattan boasts a pond with fish and turtles, as well as flowers, produce and leafy greens. The space is a respite for the residents of the Soho neighborhood. It's also a hot commodity: as New York City's population increases, so does the demand for housing and office space, making public green spaces seem "frivolous" to some. "Housing doesn't grow on trees," says New York's Department of Housing Preservation and Development - namely, affordable housing for working families and low-income seniors. Community gardens around the nation have felt the pressure rise as both urban populations and housing needs grow. While New York City's community gardeners fight for popular support to win outstanding lawsuits and keep their space, others garden supporters from Boston to San Francisco explore alternative methods for establishing more permanent sites.