In 2019-2020 Kaunas Artists’ House together with its partner Kaunas City Municipality Public Health Bureau is implementing a project Hill Garden for the Community which focuses on the creation of an urban garden open to the city’s residents.

In 2018 Kaunas City Municipality Public Health Bureau conducted a survey on the city’s residents’ satisfaction with their urban environment based on the Place Standard questionnaire prepared by the National Health Service of Scotland. 1272 Kaunas residents participated in the survey. 18.5% of participants were under 18 years of age, 64.3% fell into a group from 18 to 64 years of age and 65-year-olds and older people made up 17.2% of all the respondents.

The questionnaire consisted of 13 sections. The elderly residents of the Center and Žaliakalnis neighbourhoods complained about the pedestrian paths, the diversity of the natural environment, the quality of maintenance of the territories, and the opportunities for involvement in the community. Younger respondents were critical of the lack of ecology promotion (waste recycling and similar practices) and the feeling of security suppressed by tensions and fears. Both groups were unanimous in saying that they most lacked control: involvement in change management, problem-solving.
Taking into account the needs expressed by Kaunas city center and Žaliakalnis’ community, leaning on the good practices of Kaunas Artists’ House and the need to expand the audience of the institution’s senior visitors as well as echoing the aims of Kaunas City Municipality Public Health Bureau’s aspirations to develop programs improving health and the quality of life, Hill Garden for the Community project is being initiated with the partners. It is anticipated to create a community garden in the city in spaces adjacent to the slope of Kaunas Artists’ House. Kaunas Artists’ House is located in the 1930s modernist building, which has been operating for a long time at Kalnų (Hill) Street of the time.

This project will pursue several objectives:

(1) building and developing a community, promoting its employment, knowledge sharing;
(2) working together to create a safe and accessible public space, and
(3) promoting creative and inclusive development of a place.

Project activities will be carried out in 2 phases: in 2019 meetings with the community, tours and lectures on the history of architecture, urban development and landscape design will take place. The second phase, 2020, will include the development of a vision for the urban garden, its implementation and community meetings, celebrations and accompanying activities.

We invite the seniors, living in Kaunas city and Kaunas district, who would like to not only deepen their knowledge on the stages of urban development but also to contribute to the creation of green space, as well as eager to share stories about Kaunas accumulated over time.

The schedule of 2019 meetings: September 25, October 9, 23, November 6, 20, and December 4, 18.

Meetings will be held at Kaunas Artists’ House, always at 2 pm.

Project manager: Rūta Stepanovaitė
The project is partly funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture
Project partner: Kaunas City Municipality Public Health Bureau