“We human beings are like trees, rooted to the ground with one end, reaching towards the sky with the other, and the more we can reach out the stronger our earthly roots are”. It is a phrase by Alexander Lowen, an American psychotherapist and psychiatrist who coined the term bioenergetics to define that psychotherapeutic practice useful for resuming and deepening contact with one’s body to strengthen contact with oneself. One of the techniques used is that of grounding, or a series of practices that lead to focus on one’s physical position in space and on one’s gestures, to strengthen awareness, the ability to express oneself and self-mastery. Much of our stress and anxiety comes from disconnecting from our body and the more grounded we are in the body, the less stress and anxiety we will experience.
It is no coincidence that the reference to the earth (ground) is used as a term to restore balance in the human being, a balance both internally and with the space that surrounds us. We live on an increasingly overpopulated planet but with an increasing percentage of people who admit to suffering from lonelinesswe are more but we feel more alone. More than half of the world’s population lives in citieshabitat in which, according to the World Health Organization depression associated with anxiety symptoms is a growing pathology that finds a fertile field in metropolitan society.
The Earth is therefore a dimension to refer to, “Earth” also understood as Nature: with its times, its needs and its fruits, which are very distant from what we find in urban centers but much closer to what we find, for example, in rural environments where life is marked by the times and cycles of harvests, hours of sunshine and rainy days.
There is a project that was born from the desire to try and bring a little countryside to the city, it’s called Noocity and was born in the center of Porto from a group of friends who began to design an efficient and adaptable gardening system, self-watering and designed to be easily assembled anywhere (on a terrace, a concrete canopy, in a garden, on tiles, in a courtyard ..). Lhe idea of the urban garden has rapidly spread, not only in Portugal, but also in France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. The creators immediately realized what made the project unique of its kind, namely that through this activity they could grow not only vegetables but also real communities. So gardening has become the practice, the exercise, to bring people to connect – physically, in the real world – with other people and to discover new ways of behaving, guided by the rhythms of the garden, and new ways of consuming food, learning sustainable practices in a collaborative and fun way.
During the pandemic we realized how important the sense of belonging to a community is. Employees, neighbors, students, everyone needs safe, exciting and fulfilling interactions. In an increasingly digitized society how can people connect in real life? Faced with a climate crisis how can we act to have an impact in our daily routine?
Now Noocity provides a long-term solution for urban garden self-management through gods Community Gardens that meet the needs of any type of institution create aggregation and disseminate sustainable practices: companies, schools, condominiums, hotels, etc., following it throughout the cultivation process. Anyone can create their own country lot within the city.
There is an ever greater need for urban green. We know that the planet is warming due to greenhouse gases, and that urbanized areas are getting hotter due to the phenomenon, known as the “urban heat island” (UHI: “Urban Heat Island). The intensity of a heat island is defined by the temperature difference between the center of the same and the surrounding rural areas: on average in large cities (we are talking about urban agglomerations of the order of magnitude of one million inhabitants) temperatures annual averages 1-3°C higher than in the surrounding area. The causes are mainly four: the thermal properties of the materials with which the urban environment is built, the “geometry” of the cities and the waterproof pavements combined with the lack of vegetation.
Noocity wants to make urban farming accessible to everyone. The product that the company has developed allows anyone living in an urban environment to grow and harvest their own vegetables in a practical, efficient and environmentally friendly way. Because there is also a strong element linked to food, in fact around the urban vegetable garden, citizens discover and integrate the new ways of behaving and consuming: local, healthy, shared and ecological.
In fact, we know that the entire food production sector for our diet generates a large amount of greenhouse gases, responsible for global warming. A study published in Nature Food estimated the origin of net greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) for all stages of the food chain relating to 171 crops and 16 livestock products, in over 200 countries around the world. thus adding valuable details to the numerous studies carried out previously. From the study, carried out by an international group of experts led by the University of Illinois in which the Statistics Division of the FAO in Rome also participates, it emerged that every year the food production chain globally emits 17 billion tons of CO2 equivalent. The production of meat alone is responsible for 57% of the total, while the production of food of vegetable origin for 29%.
The Noocity Community is growing and it is no coincidence that it is growing in this period in which people increasingly feel the need to reconnect with themselves and with the Planet. Especially in the big cities where people still try, often with difficulty, to find a healthy balance between work and personal life. In this context, it is also the company reality that can make the difference. Noocity has created a real path dedicated to companies, the Ground Yourself Prorgram: a real program designed ad hoc for the needs of each company that intends to undertake a collective gardening activity – followed step by step by a team of Growers – also through workshops dedicated to healthy eating, well-being and sustainability. NooCity is chosen not only by companies but also by schools, residences and condominiums as a collective, healthy practice that is good for the health of the people who share it and also for the cities that host them.
Noocity – Ground Yourself Program