Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Parks and gardens, Structures characterized by food and resources production


A short description of the NSB

In the early 1970Ís, Liz Christy and the original band of green guerillas decided to do something about the urban decay they saw all around them. They threw ñseed green-aidsî over the fences of vacant lots. They planted sun flower seeds in the centre meridians of busy New York City streets. They put flower boxes on the window ledges of abandoned buildings. The green guerillas began rallying other people to use community gardening as tool to reclaim urban land, stabilize city blocks, and get people working together to solve problems. Soon, dozens of community gardens bloomed throughout New York City, and neighbours formed vital grassroots groups. Today, more than 600 community gardens serve as testaments to the skill, creativity, and determination of New York CityÍs community gardens. They grow food for their families and neighbours. They connect city kids to the earth. They give seniors cool green spaces to pass summer days. They allow people to kneel down together and garden in the city. The key principals that the Green Guerrillas live and operate by are openness, transparency and the sharing of knowledge.

NBS Implementation context
Location New York (USA)
Status (from - to) Ongoing (since 1974)
NBS Scale Neighbourhood City
NBS Impacts scale Neighbourhood City
Urban density/ Soil consumption High (dense city center, etc.) Medium
NBS Typology

NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
NBS Stakeholders & Governance

Initial actors (Leaders) Community Citizens
Involved actors Community CBOÍs / neighborhood communities Citizens
Ecological scale Local scale green area
Governance model CLUSTER 4: Societal Resilience Self-governance/grassroots initiatives
NBS Financial aspects

Green Guerillas has grown and changed along with the movement. Today, they are a vital nonprofit resource center, helping community gardeners cultivate community all year long.

Global (estimated) cost of the project -
Financing mechanism CLUSTER 3: Citizen inclusion Volunteering
NBS Business Models Archetype
Technological Non applicable
Social Non applicable
Organisational Non applicable
NBS Success and limiting factors
Process enablers
Knowledge Generation of evidence Research on benefits, Collaboration Networks,
Governance Self- governance Grassroots innovations and transition initiatives
Economy Self-financing and self-management
Process inibitors
Knowledge -
Governance -
Economy -
IM Keywords
  • Self-governance/grassroots initiatives

  • Local scale green area

  • Volunteering