Greening the city: how a decade of growing changed London

Published: 13 Aug 2018

This year, Capital Growth celebrates its 10th birthday and during this decade, London’s landscape has literally changed. With more people and organisations still joining the grow-your-own tribe Sarah Williams picks highlights of the campaign’s achievements and looks ahead to what’s next.


Capital Growth was dreamt up in 2008 with the grand idea of supporting 2012 new food growing gardens in London by the end of 2012.  We reached that target, delighted to have helped 170,000 Londoners transform 78 hectares of neglected land into urban food gardens. 

Looking back, the key to this success is how people came together as a collective, making it relatively easy to change attitudes on growing food in a city. Together we reclaimed land, grew a million meals and turned the no’s that thwarted community land use into a ‘yes!’


We have made inroads on many bigger policy issues, such as the planning system, but there is more to do.  We need to move growing food from a ‘nice to do’ to enshrining it into policy and planning, protect gardens against the threat of development, and find ways people can earn a decent living off the land. 

So while we celebrate our achievements, we continue to look ahead.  We want to use our collective energy to engage people in challenging our broken food system, and fight for their right to good food, including the right to grow their own. We hope you can join us…