First the location or the group of people? Both makes sense and depends...
Out of our experience, it is especially difficult to find a suitable location for a community garden in urban areas. Therefor it is helpful to find a group of people first, in order to work together and split the cumbersome tasks of the founding stage - like searching for the location and taking care of bureaucratic affairs.
While searching for a suitable location, it is important to keep your eyes open and explore the area. Fallow land, gaps between buildings or unused green spaces and gardens have the potential on becoming a flourishing community garden. Once you have found an interesting object, you need to find its owner. Talking to neighbours or looking the property up in the land charge register will help. Depending on what you will find out, you can get in touch with the private owner, municipal authorities or companies and start the negotiation.
It is helpful, especially for public spaces, to get the support of policy makers on local or regional level. Out of our experience lease agreements for community gardens are set up much faster if you have got the support of the municipality.
At the same time as searching for the area, the group can get to know each other and develop shared ideas for the community garden.
Should there be individual beds for users or would you like to work on all of them together?
How do you want to shape the communal life?
How do you want to make decisions?
Answers to such and many other questions should get worked out in the specific garden regulations for your project. You can find an example for such regulations here (German only).
Often it is necessary to found a registered society to negotiate lease agreements and receive funding. Next to the division of works, this is important for the leaseholder in terms of liability.
You are welcome to look at some examples for garden regulations of existing community gardens (German only):
If you are founding a community garden at the moment, we would like to invite you to join our events or jour fixe´. Thats always a good opportunity to exchange experience, news and provide helpful insights in the founding stage. Especially our yearly networking - event inspires and you can get to know many projects and people in the community. Most of our events are held in German, but we are happy to switch to English if necessary.
There are active organisations in some counties in Austria as well, who can support you in your first steps. Find further information here. We are embedded in an international network of community gardens and are happy to get you in touch with organisations of other countries, please do contact us for international information.
We are also happy to support new community gardens with our knowledge and experience and accompany projects in Vienna during a longer period of time.
At our market, you have got the opportunity to search for gardening projects or provide a garden or location for a community garden.