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Urban Design

Pleasant City Community Garden

The Pleasant City Community Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida, was designed to nourish the body, mind and soul. The garden is located on an eighth of an acre in a predominately African-American community which has seen its share of poverty and crime.

To comply with the city’s zoning code, the garden was designed as a public open space that features edible plants because community gardens were once prohibited in the urban core. 

The entrance to the garden features a stand of four Alexander Palms relocated from a nearby commercial corridor. Just beyond the entrance, visitors encounter an herb garden, which can host seating and a water fountain – welcome respites from the South Florida heat.

A labyrinth is the spiritual center of the garden. It is meant to bring a sacred counterpoint to a neighborhood that has often found itself in a state of distress.  The labyrinth features a handicap accessible path flanked by rows for edible plants. Raised beds will allow all users to fully participate in the gardening experience. Trellises and other vertical features provide additional cultivation space. Fruit trees intermingled with existing native trees will provide shade for the garden’s parking lot.

The Pleasant City project led the urban gardening garden movement in West Palm Beach. It set the precedent for community gardens to become a permissible use in the zoning code. 

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