Hayes Valley Farm

Did the Hayes Valley Farm occupation help or hurt the cause of liberating urban space?

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Did the recent activist occupation of a temporary urban farming plot help “liberate the land,” as they claimed, or might it actually make property owners less likely to allow community-based temporary uses on land awaiting development? And did the farmers of this once-fallow land inadvertently provide a new toehold to challenge a proposed housing project?Read more »

Former Hayes Valley Farm site Occupied, renamed Gezi Gardens

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"We're doing this to help give the community a choice," Ayr told me, sweeping his arm out. "Everyone should have a voice when it comes to issues of land use and green space, which is rapidly disappearing in the city. That's why we're inviting the community to meet here tonight [Tue/4 at 6:30pm, also Sat/8 at 3pm] and see what we're about. This is a land liberation concept, we're calling it Free the Land, or Liberate the Land."

Ayr was leading me around the former site of Hayes Valley Farm, the lauded public experiment in urban farming on an undulating patch that used to be a freeway entrance, which has now been cleared to make way for a 185-unit development on half the the lot (low-income housing is slated eventually for the other half). 

Well, not quite cleared. Ayr was showing me around an Occupy-like scene, with an agricultural twist. 

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