// Responsible Street Art? Knit the City//


Guerrilla knitting or yarn bombing has enjoyed huge popularity worldwide as the new city street art. Like Slinkachu’s little people, yarn bombing injects both colour and humour into grey urban land. 

Knit the City is one London based community embracing the trend. They say:


Using a relatively sustainable and natural material, knitting can also be removed. It avoids the permanency of graffiti and more traditional modes of street art. Yet its cultural impact still stands.

Many knitting projects seem to focus on trees (where they remain knitted temporarily). Drawing creative attention and long standing affection for city trees is an absolute bonus. This is a positive and safe form of community art everyone can enjoy. [Please click on the image for its original source]


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// Responsible Street Art? Little People in the City//

Modern urban space is often monopolised by commercial advertising and blank walls. 

It’s no wonder some people crave colour and public expression. Street Art has existed for centuries to reclaim empty space and build city character. Used effectively it can also fuel motivational thought and behaviour by promoting positive messages about peace, beauty and society. 

But defacing architecture with your personal taste in art is not something I’m going to promote here. Instead check out this responsible street art phenomenon:



Artist Slinkachu uses city rubbish to build miniature scenes with humour -they may be small but they add detail to life. They bring new meaning to each cigarette carelessly thrown away, each orange peel that cannot decompose into soil. 

The streets are big. This idea reflects a grey truth about urban communities and their environment. I love them. 


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// Friends of the High Line//

#2 of NYC’s greening projects. 

Friends of the High Line actively celebrates both nature and industry in New York City. The group defended a human construction against demolition and neglect by transforming it into a public park.

The High Line was once a rail track, built to transport meat from city factory to city warehouse. It’s eco credentials were pretty slim. But now it’s protected and maintained by this non profit team. It’s become a space for urban biodiversity. And just like the New York Restoration Project, it promotes a positive relationship between people and planet. 

Here’s another vid on youtube, featuring my absolute fave Edward Norton (he’s a supporter among so many). 

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// New York Restoration Project//

As promised below, here’s #1 of NYC’s urban greening projects. 

Founded in 1995 by international superstar Bette Midler (!) the New York Restoration Project is a non profit dedicated to greening the city’s neglected and ‘forgotten’ urban areas. They say:

The organisation has grown to a multi project initiative, planting, teaching and inspiring love for nature. They engage communities with children’s workshops, outdoor yoga classes, Shakespeare plays, movie screenings and summer concerts. These activities attempt to build a positive relationship between people and planet, they also promote social cohesion among a famously diverse society. Great Video below:

NYRP also supports the New Leaf Restaurant and Bar - a a world-class dining experience in an urban, forested setting.’ New Leaf sources its ingredients from local, fresh and seasonal produce - a great start for a busy, urban business.

Charity Navigator (a generally trusted and thorough non profit guide) rates the NYRP with 5 stars and excellent transparency. 

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// New York Skyscraper / New York Tree//

I took this picture two winters ago in New York City. Every skyscraper should be shadowed by a tree, even one decked in fairy lights. 

NYC has a growing community of urban greening projects and guerrilla gardeners (check out this bee keeping video from Brooklyn). I’ll introduce you to the Big Apple’s eco friends in our next few posts. 

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// The Beauty of Urban Bee-keeping, Brooklyn New York.//

"Bee keeping causes you to take note of what’s growing in your community"

Gorgeous cinematography in this short film exposing the ‘beauty of urban bee-keeping’ in New York USA- It’s city skyline set against ruly wildflowers on a rooftop. This is a compromise we can have and I believe we should be aiming for. So besides the bees, this video’s a great watch for guerrilla gardening inspiration. 


Their significance went mainstream years ago. Bees pollinate our plants. They work together and unlike the beloved wasp, they only sting when absolutely necessary whereupon they die. 

Organic, small scale bee-keeping can have a positive impact on urban environments, encouraging bee populations. Although of course it doesn’t follow a vegan philosophy (heavy vegan blogging here recently), in this case it can be sustainable and beneficial to nature. Plus an excellent alternative to unethical candy corporations. 

This film is also advocating a low carbon diet, self sufficiency, reconnecting to nature and food awareness. Not bad for 6 minutes. 

For more on Bees click <here>

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// Films on Fridges: UPCYCLING//

Last summer a creative urban project in East London became an underground sensation. Films on Fridges was a temporary ‘pop up’ cinema built from old, unused refrigerators.


^^ Old, unused refrigerators ^^

Its obvious charm was in recycling electronic goods to make practical city art, a testament to urban life.   Films on Fridges was created in Hackney— a neighborhood famous for its industrial past.   Until recently there was a legendary ‘Fridge Mountain’ in the area - a disturbing but incredible heap of unwanted fridges.  This was removed to make way for the forthcoming Olympic Games.  

Films on Fridges’ website says:


…and so the idea became a community project.   A quick glance at their listed partners and you can tell how popular the cinema was with local people.   The initiative relied heavily on donations to fund construction and the original fundraising target was raised by over USA$1000.   All film screenings were sold out.


So this concept had it all.   It showcased excellent upcycling of rubbish to create art.   It earnt community backing and added to local history.   It can easily be interpreted as a social or political comment on waste and environmental abuse.   It considers our domestic livelihoods and finally, it provided entertainment in an original setting.  


Why do we do things like this? It took a lot of time, money and unpaid work to complete this idea.  Why?  Well it’s left a legacy, it will contribute to many conversations on municipal waste, art and expression. and of course, it was just something to do.  

Thoughts on a postcard please.

Photos: 1, 2: Films on Fridges website. 3. Inhabitat. 

// Daily Photo: Riverbank, Belgrade Serbia.//


Positive street art on Belgrade’s riverbank in Serbia. Messages of love to spur the city on. Who says graffiti intimidates? 

Photo: Riverbank, Belgrade by David Konecny for The National Geographic.

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Nektarina Non Profit is an international non-profit organization dedicated to educating, connecting and inspiring people to care about their communities and their environment.