Urban Food Street

The blackboards at every corner of this neighbourhood are a giveaway – there is something at work here, bigger than the sum of its parts. In this pocket of a suburb on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, a community project is changing the way local residents think about food and the act of eating. The scope of Urban Food Street has grown exponentially, and it’s hard to believe it started with one lime.

In 2009, residents Duncan McNaught and Caroline Kemp were inspired by the words of architect Ken Maher, at about the same time as the price of a single lime hit $2. Maher’s work pushed them to think about community engagement with the suburban landscape, and how they could add value to their Buderim environment. This led to the relatively simple act of using the road verge outside their home to grow herbs and citrus trees, for their neighbours and themselves. Caroline explained that, ‘This is an urban area, so space is at a premium. We wanted to take that dormant public space and turn it into something useable and functional.’