Walking across any city you see many narrow spaces, often filled with trash or weeds, sometimes with a power pole, a transformer, or an access hatch. Some are planned landscape easements, but mainly they are the result of setback rules; boundary disagreements; areas set aside for ‘landscaping’ by people ignorant of plants, road medians, electric-cable envelopes, line-of-sight paths, air-rights corridors…
This wasted land is called interstitial space, a biological term from the space between cells where fluids and gases are exchanged, transported and regulated, cyclically and with great efficiency in terms of energy and space. Not a bad metaphor for how left-field thinkers might re-purpose these (often dead) non-places.
These spaces have been lost from the city; while they move sewage, fresh water, electricity or data they are often unattractive and represent lost potential to regulate and heal the city; detaining rainfall, providing bird habitat, reducing heat-island effects, filtering and holding onto fumes and particles and providing essential visible nature in the city, these are all possible even on very narrow sites.
As nature abhors a vacuum weeds often invade these spaces, physically damaging walls and seeking out water pipes. Here are several more planned and less planned spaces that I call Thin Gardens.