CASE STUDY: Gardens of the Future, Cyprus

Gardens of the Future is a social collective initiative aiming to empower locals to become agro entrepreneurs and create a network of communal gardens in cities. The idea was inspired by  a team of young people (challengers, pioneers, social entrepreneurs), who have joined forces  to become ambassadors of sustainable change.  

“Gardens of the Future” is an ambitious project, which kicked-off in May 2019 with the mission  to transform a forgotten land of 500 square meters in the heart of the Nicosia, into a green  paradise accessible to all. The launch of the main Garden took place in October 2020, aiming  to serve as a prototype and position Nicosia as a role-model city for the rest of the island and  for other cities around the world. The project envisions helping locals grow 300 gardens in all  cities in Cyprus by 2021. The action targets young people up to 35 years old, minorities  (asylum seekers, migration), people with disabilities, government institutions, corporations,  municipalities, NGOs (Energy Agency), Commissioners, industrial partners.

Topic  Description
Title  Gardens of the Future
Location  Local, regional impact level as well as a worldwide impact (Greece,  Worldwide)
Time  May 2019 – May 2021
SDG No  4, 5, 6, 7, 9 11, 12, 13, 16
Brief Description  “Gardens of the Future” is a social collective initiative aiming to  empower locals to become agro-entrepreneurs and create a network  of communal gardens in cities. 
Beneficiaries  Young people up to 35 years old, minorities (asylum seekers,  migration), people with disabilities, government institutions,  corporations, municipalities, NGOs (Energy Agency), Commissioners,  industrial partners.
Impact  Increase awareness and recognition, attracted the interest of  volunteers to run the project, two award nominations. Since the project is still ongoing, the results and impact will be identified as  implementation of the project evolves.


Social Innovation  The idea of cultivating together constitutes a significant human ritual of  which the benefits are beyond the biological need for food. The  “Gardens of the Future” functions as a provisional bridging mechanism  between communities, by embracing social exchange in ways, which 

are rarely articulated in cities. The initiative focuses on a co-city  approach and aims to grow gardens as a network around cities and  develop a sustainable food supply chain that will reduce food waste by  producing products out of the garden’s plants. These actions are  enhancing the climate mitigation efforts in improving urban space  quality by reducing heat island effect as well as reducing city’s CO2  emissions.

Constraints  Lack of capitalization in the timeframe that is needed Transportation problems 

COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the operations and the launch of  the initiative

Sustainability  In order for the initiative to be sustainable and continues its efforts, the  “Gardens of the Future” will need the following: 

Capitalization per stage 

Sponsorships and support from other communities,  organizations and individual parties. 

Social space and people to run the meet ups and community  activities, youth board – maker space + educational activities  Strategic partners with same goals and aspirations

Transferability – 


Following the pilot model of the main Garden in Nicosia, the initiative  can expand to nearby “gardens” and gradually apply the model to other  cities.
Lessons Learned – Conclusions Strategic implementation through participation 

Engage community in order to succeed 

Open, participatory and transparency.