The importance of green spaces in cities is felt most when there is absolute lack of it.

Living in cities, peoples’ lives and movements are restricted in numerous ways, allowing green spaces the ability to provide people of all ages an escape from the concrete jungle.

This video describes the transformation of New York City from a time when trees were scarce and lives seemed grey, to what the city is seen as in this day and age – an expanse of high-rises, restored and preserved landmarks and buildings, but also a variety of green spaces looked after by the city and its thriving communities.

What once began as a radical movement – the act of taking over abandoned vacant lots and transforming them into community gardens – is now deeply ingrained within the city’s subculture, such that the city made it a practice to lease some of the plots to communities for as little as $1 per month.

Ever since then, these green spaces have provided opportunities for teaching and learning how to care for the environment, improving local access to quality food, sharing and staying connected with their land and communities.