The sharing economy is not often enough actually about sharing. Car sharing becomes a huge unlawful “taxi company,” a platform to share a room or your apartment a few days a year becomes a real estate play with companies and individuals kicking tenants out and leasing dozens of apartments year-long, etc.
AllotMe, a new the platform connecting growers with green spaces in the United Kingdom is certainly starting with all the right intents and values, as well as a model that looks less prone to a “hacking” of its goals.
“As an architect, I’m trained to spot opportunities in space, and it dawned on me when passing an overgrown and unloved garden that there is an untapped reservoir of outdoor space in London that is going unused, so why not bring the two together.”
The new service wants to bridge the gap between those who want to garden but don’t have space, and those who have space but no interest in gardening. The rate is super reasonable, which hopefully keeps this system working for the people it wants to be serving.
[T]he going rate for a plot is currently between £15 and £30 a month, depending on size. Part of the fee goes to AllotMe, which provides insurance – or ‘garden guarantee’ – for those renting out their yards.
There’s also a nice aspect of sustainability and resilience that might not have made sense for as many people pre-pandemic. Now more people have understood the importance of local food, of being outside, and of connecting with your local community.
“Sustainability is a big part of it, [h]osts, for a wide variety of reasons may not be able to use their outdoor space, but by letting somebody rent it and use it to grow food, they are enabling a contribution to a greener society and playing a part too.”