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Urban Activism: Green Plant Sleeves for City Walls
Few would challenge the introduction of a bit of greenery into a city environment. Toronto residents, Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale, are making this basic urban space ideal into a reality with their poster pocket planters. The duo carve their way through existing posters to create little pockets, then fill them with potting soil and plants to create an impromptu green wall system. The result is a bit of greenery that effortlessly blends into the existing urban landscape. Best of all, Eric and Sean want to empower eco- and locally-minded folk by keeping the process open source– and are making their cutting patterns available online.
Although we were tempted to call these eco-imaginative fellows guerrilla gardeners, Cheung told the Torontoist that they considered their project to be something more like public space or urban activism. Unsurprisingly, the two activists-of-sorts are looking to stir up reactions from those who pass by their pockets. While the project has been well-received by ordinary passers-by, the Torontoist reports that one particular project had its plants stolen (we hope they were taken immediately to a nearby garden deprived of ornamental plantings) and then completely taken down within only a couple of days — replaced by the former advertising.
Cheung and Martindale hope that their project will move beyond the city boundaries of Toronto, and inspire others to create their own green wall systems. So far, our favorite urban beautification blogger, Posterchild, has tried it in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — and developed a different method of folding that Cheung says “jams the advertisement completely.”
The duo want to keep the idea of poster pocket planters open believing that the idea of the pockets “[belong] to this city and other urban environments.” They also admit that their technique is not yet perfected, and open-source will allow anyone to contribute to the development of the idea that they sparked. So when they say urban activism, they mean YOU interacting with YOUR urban surroundings — and they are offering their origami-like instructions online, so what are you waiting for?
Top photo by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist
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