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Community gardens contribute to community wellbeing by influencing the nutritional and social environment. The aim of this research was to develop a model that communicates the many benefits of community garden participation as described in the academic literature, to a diverse audience of laypersons. This model is an example of effective knowledge translation because the information is able to be more than simply understood but also practically applied. From April to August 2015, a model depicting the many benefits of community garden participation was prepared based on a global, critical literature review. The wellbeing benefits from community garden participation have been grouped into factors influencing the nutritional health environment and factors influencing the social environment. The graphic chosen to form the basis of the model is a fractal tree of life. In October 2015, to test the models comprehension and to obtain stakeholder feedback this model was presented to a diverse group of community members, leaders and workers from the Tāmaki region of Auckland, New Zealand. The model we present here effectively and clearly translates knowledge obtained from the academic literature on the benefits to wellbeing from community garden participation into a tool that can be used, adapted and developed by community groups, government agencies and health promoters.
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Review Article
The development of a model of community garden benets to wellbeing
Victoria Egli
a,
,MelodyOliver
b
, El-Shadan Tautolo
c
a
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
b
Human Potential Centre, AUT Millennium Campus, AUT University, New Zealand
c
Centre for Pacic Health and Development Research, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT University, New Zealand
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 29 February 2016
Received in revised form 13 April 2016
Accepted 20 April 2016
Available online 21 April 2016
Community gardens contribute to community wellbeing by inuencing the nutritional and social environment.
The aim of this research was to develop a model thatcommunicates the manybenets of community gardenpar-
ticipation as described inthe academic literature, to a diverse audience of laypersons. This model is an exampleof
effectiveknowledge translation becausethe information is able to be morethan simply understoodbut also prac-
tically applied. From April to August 2015, a model depicting the many benets of community garden participa-
tion was prepared based on a global, critical literature review. The wellbeing benets from community garden
participation have beengrouped into factorsinuencing the nutritional health environment and factors inuenc-
ing the social environment. The graphic chosen to form the basis of the model is a fractal tree of life. In October
2015, to test the models comprehension and to obtain stakeholder feedback this model was presented to a di-
verse group of community members, leaders and workers from the Tāmaki region of Auckland, New Zealand.
The model we present here effectively and clearly translates knowledge obtained from the academic literature
on the benets to wellbeing from community garden participation into a tool that can be used, adapted and de-
veloped by community groups, government agencies and health promoters.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords:
Knowledge translation
Community
Gardens
Wellbeing
Health promotion
Contents
1. Introduction.............................................................. 348
2. Methods................................................................ 349
3. Results................................................................. 349
4. Discussion............................................................... 351
4.1. Limitations............................................................ 352
4.2. Futuredirections......................................................... 352
4.3. Letusknowhowyouuseit.................................................... 352
5. Conclusion............................................................... 352
Conictofinterest.............................................................. 352
Acknowledgements ............................................................. 352
References.................................................................. 352
1. Introduction
Community gardens are sections of land collectively gardened for
the specic purpose of growing fruits, vegetables and/or herbs for self-
consumption; and include allotments, school gardens as well as
teaching/demonstration gardens. Contemporary community gardens
rst became widespread across the United Kingdom, Europe and
North America during the First and Second World Wars to supplement
war-time food shortages (Ginn, 2012). These gardens played an impor-
tant role innational food security, by supplementing rations and provid-
ing essential nutrients that were unable to be otherwise supplied by the
food environment of the time(Buckingham, 2005). Community gardens
today are often established by volunteers in the hope they will function
as alternatives to the current food environment, providing
Preventive Medicine Reports 3 (2016) 348352
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: vegli@aut.ac.nz (V. Egli), meoliver@aut.ac.nz (M. Oliver),
dtautolo@aut.ac.nz (E.-S. Tautolo).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.04.005
2211-3355/© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Preventive Medicine Reports
journal homepage: http://ees.elsevier.com/pmedr
opportunities for food and income generation and for urban residents to
engage in outdoor physical and social activities.
Wellbeing is a multidimensional construct that is becoming an in-
creasingly popular measure for health promoters, government agencies
and academics as an indicator of societal contentedness and population
progress. Wellbeingis more than the absenceof disease; it encompasses
optimal physical and mental functioning with resilience, positive emo-
tional experiences and overall life satisfaction (Huppert and So, 2013).
Wellbeingis important to consider in the context ofcommunity gardens
because while wellbeing may not be the intended end goal of commu-
nity gardens, many of the outcomes of community garden participation
positively inuence wellbeing.
Community gardens often occupy spaces of contested land use
(Schmelzkopf, 1995) and are commonly run by layperson volunteers.
Community gardens regularly require advocacy to secure funding
needed for garden establishment and expansion, when obtaining or
reobtaining permission for land use and in the face of public opposition
(Schmelzkopf, 2002; Staeheli et al., 2002). Many articles on the health
and social benets of community garden participation have been pub-
lished in the academic literature. To date this information has not
been summarised in a form that effectively communicates the key mes-
sages to a wide audience of laypersons.
This research involved the development of a model that succinctly
summarises the key ndings from the literature. This model is an exam-
ple of effective knowledge translation, where large quantities of aca-
demic research have been synthesised into an attractive format
applicable for use and adaptation by community groups, health pro-
moters and government agencies.
2. Methods
A literature review was conducted using the following databases:
MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus and PsycINFO with the keywords commu-
nity garden*;allotment*;school garden*and teaching garden*.In
order to prevent publication bias, manual searches of references lists
were also carried out. Only articles that had undergone peer-review
were selected. Articles were excluded if they related to soil contamina-
tion and/or plant health, or were not published in English. Conference
abstracts, dissertations, letters, and books were excluded, however ref-
erence lists of these information sources were checked for additional
relevant publications. Searches were not restricted by date of
publication.
Articles were read by the corresponding author and themes identi-
ed. Themes were grouped initially into two tiers: (Ginn, 2012)major
themes (i.e. these themes included concepts that were multidimen-
sional e.g. food security, healthy body weights, and physical activity)
and (Buckingham, 2005) minor themes (i.e. these themes included spe-
cic concepts that, while complex, contributed to a major theme e.g. the
economic benets (minor theme) of community garden participation,
receiving fruits and/or vegetables at little to no nancial cost, can con-
tribute to better food security (major theme) for the individual, their
family and the community overall). What emerged from the grouping
of themes were two distinct sets of major and minor themes. To encap-
sulate both sets of themes and to place them within an environmental
context the following descriptive terms were chosen, the nutritional
health environment and the social environment. Decisions on wording
and grouping of themes occurredwith advice and guidance from thead-
ditional authors.
For graphical representation, searches were conducted for nature or
garden related images that could be modied into a diagram depicting
the benets to wellbeing from participation in community gardens. A
range of sources was examined including: art and graphic design print
media available in theAuckland City Library and AUT University Library
collection, as well as photographs, infographics, and ow-charts publi-
cally available on social media and through Internet search engines.
The criteria for choosing the nal graphic were: nature or garden
themed, eye-catching, and able to be understood by a wide lay audience
without the need for accompanying text.
To test comprehension and to obtain stakeholder feedback a black
and white version of the model was presented to a diverse group of
community members in the East Auckland Region of Tāmaki New
Zealand in October 2015. 24 stakeholders comprising community, reli-
gious, and cultural leaders, members of local community gardenorgani-
sations, local council representatives and community health workers.
Tāmaki was chosen as an appropriate location to test the model's com-
prehension, as it is young and culturally diverse with a high level of en-
gagement and participation in existing community projects. Two of the
three authors
a,c
have ties to the community.
3. Results
Articles meeting the inclusion criteria were read by the lead author
and grouped inductively into themes. The themes were not
predetermined but arose from the literature. A table of themes includ-
ing how the major and minor themes are grouped can be seen in
Table 1. The main themes included: healthy body weights, physical ac-
tivity, food security, ownership and pride, urban beautication and
community cohesion. The minor themes, where there was a contribu-
tion to each of the major themes was grouped as follows: fruit and veg-
etable consumption (Alaimo et al., 2008; Hanbazaza et al., 2015; Litt
et al., 2011) and the inuence of social networks (Zick et al., 2013)
into healthy body weights; nature contact (Maller et al., 2006)andreg-
ular movement (Park et al., 2014) into physical activity; economic ben-
ets (Litt et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2014) and shortened supply chains
(Wang et al., 2014) into food security; crime reduction and decreased
stress (Art McCabe, 2014) into ownership and pride; civic engagement
(Saldivar-Tanaka and Krasny, 2004) and political activism (Litt et al.,
2011) into urban beautication; and cultural identity (Graham and
Connell, 2006; Li et al., 2010) and shared goals and experiences
(Buckingham, 2005) into community cohesion.
Of the graphics that met the aforementioned inclusion criteria im-
ages based on trees and spirals were selected.Trees form an appropriate
skeleton for this model as they are both nature and garden themed and
easily recognisable globally. Spirals effectively symbolise innite recur-
sion and commonly occur in nature (e.g., pinecones, snails, sunowers).
The graphic chosen to base the model on was the fractal Tree of Life, es-
sentially combining both trees and spirals.
The term community gardens were placed on the trunk of thetree to
form the foundation ofthe branches of benet to wellbeing. The two de-
scriptive terms, the nutritional health environment and the social
Table 1
Grouping of major and minor themes that arose from the literature.
Major theme Minor theme Reference
Nutritional Health Environment
Healthy body
weights
Fruit and vegetable
consumption
Alaimo et al., 2008; Hanbazaza et al.,
2015; Litt et al., 2011
The inuence of social
networks
Zick et al., 2013
Physical
activity
Nature contact Maller et al., 2006
Regular movement Park et al., 2014
Food security Economic benets Litt et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2014
Shortened supply
chains
Wang et al., 2014
Social Health Environment
Ownership and
pride
Crime reduction Art McCabe, 2014
Decreased stress Art McCabe, 2014
Urban
beautication
Civic engagement Saldivar-Tanaka and Krasny, 2004
Political activism Litt et al., 2011
Community
cohesion
Cultural identity Graham and Connell, 2006; Li et al.,
2010
Shared goals and
experiences
Buckingham, 2005
349V. Egli et al. / Preventive Medicine Reports 3 (2016) 348352
environment, divide the left and right sides of the tree and its associated
branches. The major themes are situated on the innermost branches of
the tree and the minor th emes on the outermost branch es. Small images
were inserted in-between the branches to visually depict the ideas
associated with the nearby text, thereby increasing the eye-catching ap-
peal and overall comprehension of the image by layperson audiences.
The term wellbeing was placed in the centre at the top of the tree, in
the position where the sweetest fruit is often harvested.
The feedback received from the meeting was overwhelmingly posi-
tive. Community members noted that the model was easily understood
and visually appealing but having an option to use a colour version
would be ideal. Members from the various community garden organisa-
tions expressed delight at having a graphic they could use in applica-
tions for funding and the members of the local council noted that the
many and varied benets to wellbeing form community garden partic-
ipation was clearly conveyed.A selection of comments that captured the
key themes and sentiments expressed by attendees at the community
meeting can be seen in Table 2.
The model can be easily reproduced in both colour and black and
white and adapted to best suit the cultural context of the intended audi-
ence. The text is easily translatedinto other languages, and the font size
can be adjusted to t neatly within the branches. Every effort was taken
to ensure the small images within the tree were suitable for use in a va-
riety of diverse contexts. However to increase feelings of ownership of
the model and to aid comprehension in different cultural contexts
these images can be changed to better appeal to the intended audience
e.g. varieties of fruits and vegetables can be replaced with the most
Fig. 1. Model of community gardens and wellbeing, black and white.
Table 2
A selection of comments received at the community meeting.
Comment Made by
Thank you for including us in the process of developing this
valuable community resource.
Community
Member
I can see us using this model in all our future (funding)
applications.
Community Garden
Member
I like that you have included these images (points to
traditional New Zealand vegetables, stars from the New
Zealand ag and the icon of the New Zealand Silver Fern),
it makes us feel like this model is ours.
Community Leader
Looking at this (the model) makes me feel like all the hard
work I do in the garden is really doing good for the whole
community, not just putting food on my plate.
Community Garden
Member
I never knew there were so many benets to come out of
community gardens.
Local Council
Representative
Can I have a copy of this (the model) to take with me
today? I'd like to show (other community members) who
weren't able to come today.
Community Worker
350 V. Egli et al. / Preventive Medicine Reports 3 (2016) 348352
common fruits and vegetables consumed by the target audience and/or
those grown in local community gardens. The nal version of the model
can be seen in Figs. 1 and 2 (black and white and colour versions, re-
spectively). Table 3 depicts a sample of suggestions on using the
model in a variety of settings.
4. Discussion
Clearly conveying complex messages are a challenge for public
health and graphical models can be useful tools for accomplishing this.
This is the rst time that the benets to wellbeing from community gar-
den participation has been presented in a model suitable for use by
community groups, health promoters and government agencies alike.
For knowledge translation to be effective in the eld of public health,
it must move beyond simple synthesis and dissemination and incorpo-
rate elements of actual use of that knowledge (Straus et al., 2009). This
model accomplishes this by being a tool for both bottom-up advocacy
actions and in aiding the top-down decision-making process.
Key priority areas for many health agencies at present are physical
activity, healthy body weights and food security (Mendis et al., 2014).
This research clearly portrays how these are affected by participation
in community gardens and how they, combined with social benets of
Table 3
Suggestions for how to use the model.
Adapt it Example
Change the colour scheme. If a community group has a logo or set of colours
normally associated with it, change the colour of
the model to match.
Change the images. Change the vegetables to those most commonly
grown in the community garden; or add photos
from the community garden and wider
community in place of some/all of the smaller
images.
Change the language of the text. If English is not the primary language spoken in
a community, use a translator to help modify
the text.
Include it Reason
Add the model to funding
applications and ofcial
letters.
Show providers and authorities, clearly and
simply, the benets that have been shown to
come from community gardens.
Show the model at community
meetings.
Help garner support for local community
gardens, encourage participation and
acceptance by highlighting the benets that
come from community gardens.
Fig. 2. Model of community gardens and wellbeing, colour.
351V. Egli et al. / Preventive Medicine Reports 3 (2016) 348352
community cohesion, urban beautication and ownership and pride,
contribute to overall wellbeing.
4.1. Limitations
There are limitations to the nal design chosen and the nal wording
of the themes. The connections between specic concepts, those on the
outer branches, are not clearly communicated, for example nature con-
tact and decreased stress are two themes which have been shown to in-
uence each other (Kaplan, 1995). However, due to space allocation and
connection to other major themes, they appear on the model as unre-
lated entities located on opposite sides of the tree.
4.2. Future directions
The steps described in the development of this model can be re-
peated for other topics relevant to community health and wellbeing,
where community involvement and effective knowledge translation
would be benecial.
Globally, school garden programmes are becoming increasingly
popular (Berezowitz et al., 2015). While many of the benets from
school gardens mirror those of community gardens further research is
needed to create a model specic to school gardens and their inuence
on child wellbeing. Children are excellent co-producers of knowledge
and the incorporation of child-participatory research methodologies in
the development and design of such a model would yield novel insights
for governments, schools, teachers, parents, health promoters and child
health researchers interested in the health, development and overall
wellbeing of children.
To accommodate the limitations of displaying connections between
specic concepts, further consideration could be given to modifying the
graphic. However, it is presently unknown in what manner it would be
appropriate to do this without losing other important meanings cur-
rently displayed in the model.
To give a complete picture of community gardens, future research on
factors inuencing the successful operation and functioning of commu-
nity gardens could be added to the model and potentially displayed as
roots of the tree.
4.3. Let us know how you use it
Community groups, government agencies, health promoters and
others are invited to use this model, adapt it and document the process.
The authors invite readers to share with them how they used this
model. Was it adapted? What purpose did it serve? What was the out-
come? Please share your experiences with the corresponding author,
using the contact details provided. The documentation and sharing of
the processes and outcomes will ensure that the model of benets to
wellbeing from community gardens is able to evolve and remain a dy-
namic, useful and purposeful resource for communities globally.
5. Conclusion
There are many benets to wellbeing from community garden par-
ticipation and the model presented here summarises these benets as
described in the academic literature and displays them in a model that
was presented and well received by a diverse, layperson audience. The
benets to wellbeing can be grouped into factors inuencing the nutri-
tional health environment and factors inuencing the social environ-
ment. This model is an example of effective knowledge translation
and it can be used,adapted and developed by community groups, health
promoters, government agencies and health departments
internationally.
Conict of interest
The authors declare there are no conicts of interest.
Acknowledgements
We wish to thank to the community of Tāmaki for their honest and
thoughtful feedback on the model. Thanks to Candace Weir, Tara Moala,
Nerissa Henry and Karen Clifford for their assistance and support of
Tāmaki community garden research. We thank Ezra Whittiker-Powley
for the graphic design of the model and the AUT Food Network for pro-
viding the funds for his time. Thanks to Richard Main from Gardens 4
Health, Diabetes Project Trust for his thoughtful insight on the future di-
rections and day-to-day applicability of this model as a useful tool for
advocacy by other community groups.
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... Community gardens are usually established in available public green spaces and vacant lands at the neighborhood scales. Community gardens are gardened by organized people from the neighborhood [91,97]. The principal purpose of growing food in community gardens is for self-consumption; urban gardeners usually consume more fresh products (harvested from the community garden) than non-gardeners, and they usually share products with family, friends and food banks [98]. ...
... The principal purpose of growing food in community gardens is for self-consumption; urban gardeners usually consume more fresh products (harvested from the community garden) than non-gardeners, and they usually share products with family, friends and food banks [98]. Present-day community gardens became popular and prevalent, particularly across North America, Europe and the United Kingdom, throughout the First and Second World Wars as a response to war-time food scarcity [91,97]. ...
... The following benefits can be gained by establishing community gardens: (1) growing food and generating income, (2) consuming more fresh food, (3) increasing physical activity, (4) reducing irritability and mental fatigue, (5) increasing life satisfaction, (6) maintaining neighborhood food security, (7) neighborhood beautification, (8) community involvement, and (9) fostering neighborhood interaction and social ties [91,[97][98][99]. Community gardens can host leisure and recreational activities, educational workshops, and social events [99]. ...
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Thesis
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This study evaluated the contribution of urban agriculture (community gardens) to food security in Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng province. The objectives were to determine the socio-demographic characteristics of farmers in urban community gardens; determine the contribution of urban community gardens to food security (availability, accessibility, utilisation and stability); evaluate the factors that influence food utilisation of the farmers in urban community gardens; and to conduct the SWOT analysis of urban community gardens in Emfuleni Local Municipality. The study was conducted in 6 large townships of Emfuleni Local Municipality using a quantitative research approach and survey design. A sample of 254 urban farmers and 30 key informants were randomly selected from 30 urban community gardens with a population of 418 farmers. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured survey questionnaire. Quantitative data were analysed by the use of Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 23.0 whereby descriptive (mean, standard deviation, standard error or mean and others) and inferential statistics formed part of the analysis. Open-ended responses (qualitative data) were analysed using code and themes; and converted into frequencies. Results from the study revealed that there were more female (71.3%) farmers in urban community gardens than male farmers (28.7%). Only 23.2% of youth (<35 years) participated in urban community gardens. The language spoken by majority (59.4%) of the respondents was Sesotho whereby 53.5% were not married. The main source of income of most (78.7%) urban farmers was farming activities precisely urban community gardens. The study found that community gardens contribute to food availability with regards to providing freshly produced vegetables, high consumption of vegetables and ensured that families of the beneficiaries ate sufficient vegetables produced from the gardens. It was therefore found that, in relation to food accessibility, an average of 47% did not experience anxiety, uncertainty and had consumed sufficient quantities of vegetables from the community gardens. With regards to food utilisation, majority (96.1%) of the respondents ate vegetables as a relish whereas others consumed vegetables for various reasons such salad, health and others. On vegetable consumption pattern, it is concluded that gender, age group, level of education, participation period in community gardens, family size, number of family member working, number of working hours in the community garden per day, number of day working in the community garden per month and annual income from community garden influenced vegetables consumption pattern of the respondents (utilisation) in the study area. Coping strategies which were mostly adopted by the respondents to ensure food stability were: reducing vegetable intake to ensure that children ate enough, purchasing of vegetables on credit, reducing vegetables in the daily meals and borrowing money to buy vegetables. Some of the challenges that hindered vegetable production in urban community gardens were theft of garden tools and crops produce, lack of fencing and grazing of vegetables by stray animals. Based on the results of the current study, it is suggested that youth participation should be encouraged to ensure that the future of urban community gardens is not threatened because majority of the farmers were above 35 years old. The South African Government should continue to provide monthly stipend to the farmers (beneficiaries) in urban community gardens through Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) and Independent Development Trust (IDP) for a period of 9 months to attract people into urban farming. This will ensure sustainability of urban community gardens and positively contribute to food security of urban dwellers. The challenges that hinder the sustainability of urban community gardens such as theft of garden tools and produce and lack of fencing should be addressed urgently. For instance, issues of theft and vandalism should be reported to the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that food security is not threatened. Urban community gardens should focus on increasing and sustaining their production to ensure that all the members have sufficient vegetables to feed their families throughout the year. Farmers in urban community gardens should be trained on marketing to enable them to supply vegetable to local markets, supermarket, spaza shops and other formal markets because the quantity and quality are satisfactorily. A variety of vegetable cultivars that are drought resistant should be introduced in order to increase vegetable production in the urban community gardens. Water boreholes should be drilled, irrigation equipment installed in urban community gardens that had lower production because of water shortage and unreliable irrigation systems.
... Community gardens are defined as sections of land collectively gardened by a community for the specific purpose of growing fruits, vegetables and/or herbs for self-consumption (Egli et al., 2016;Ginn, 2012). ...
Technical Report
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Circular Economy (CE) will accelerate the emerging shift in resource consumption from finite to renewable and plants are key in enabling the switch as industries would opt more and more for resources with a bio-based origin. Cities have an important role in the process not only as the main consumers of the resources but also because vegetation provides numerous intangible ecosystem services essential for the wellbeing of urban dwellers. But the urban lands are heavily burdened with present activities and ongoing urbanization. Retrofitting the now obsolete and potentially contaminated brownfields provides an opportunity to engage bio-based land uses within the city periphery. At the same time, vegetation can be incorporated with Gentle Remediation Option (GRO), an alternative and more sustainable option over common ‘dig and dump’ remediation to eradicate the contamination concern and restore soil health. ‘Opportunities of bio-based production in urban brownfields’, a Ph.D. research project, concerns with such topics aiming to investigate the possibilities and preconditions for preparing urban brownfields urban bio-based production to foster a bio-based circular economy in the cities. This literature review is performed as part of the research effort to support and capture the wider scope of the project. The review work is focused on outlining the topics, ‘CE’, and ‘urban brownfields’; and establishing a common ground merging these topics from where the rest of the research work can be based on. The novel concept (i.e. CE) are explored in this literature review together with the well-established topic (i.e. brownfields) to set the backdrop and their common subsets (i.e. cities in CE, urban land potential in bio-based CE) are further investigated to guide the review in delivering information necessary for the future project work. Urban Greenspaces (UGSs) and the ecosystem services (ESs) that can be derived from them are discussed as consecutively the potential bio-based land uses and the bio-based products in an urban setting. 14 UGSs are additionally explored to better understand the scope of ESS in the cities.
... Another review that investigated clusters of COVID-19 infections and their transmission settings linked very few infections to outdoor settings [279]. In addition to providing opportunity to physical distancing, greenspaces improve the social environment through urban community gardens [280]. Community gardens improve community connectedness and social capital [281,282], increase engagement in civic activities and individual's connection to their cultural heritage and identity [283,284], and reduce crime rates while stabilizing neighborhoods [285]. ...
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The intersecting negative effects of structural racism, COVID-19, climate change, and chronic diseases disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities in the US and around the world. Urban populations of color are concentrated in historically redlined, segregated, disinvested, and marginalized neighborhoods with inadequate quality housing and limited access to resources, including quality greenspaces designed to support natural ecosystems and healthy outdoor activities while mitigating urban environmental challenges such as air pollution, heat island effects, combined sewer overflows and poor water quality. Disinvested urban environments thus contribute to health inequity via physical and social environmental exposures, resulting in disparities across numerous health outcomes, including COVID-19 and chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In this paper, we build off an existing conceptual framework and propose another conceptual framework for the role of greenspace in contributing to resilience and health equity in the US and beyond. We argue that strategic investments in public greenspaces in urban neighborhoods impacted by long term economic disinvestment are critically needed to adapt and build resilience in communities of color, with urgency due to immediate health threats of climate change, COVID-19, and endemic disparities in chronic diseases. We suggest that equity-focused investments in public urban greenspaces are needed to reduce social inequalities, expand economic opportunities with diversity in workforce initiatives, build resilient urban ecosystems, and improve health equity. We recommend key strategies and considerations to guide this investment, drawing upon a robust compilation of scientific literature along with decades of community-based work, using strategic partnerships from multiple efforts in Milwaukee Wisconsin as examples of success.
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In Malaysia, Urban Agriculture program’s initiative has brought local communities together to grow their own food in designated areas and at the same time to empower the community (Bernama, 2020). According to Strzelecka et al (2017) participation is important in strengthening community empowerment. However, lack of participation among UA community resulted investment and initiative done by government to waste. This study aims to identify dimension of participation (planning, implementation and evaluation) level of Urban Agriculture (UA) program’s respondents towards economic and social empowerment independently, where their effect is design to be moderated by social capital consisting of bonding, bridging and linking. This study recorded majority of the respondents were male, aged between 41-60 years old, married and has obtained secondary school/vocational. Majority of them have family members between 5 to 12. Addition to that, relationship between participation, social capital towards empowerment among respondents were found to be insignificant. Hence, resulting social capital (bonding, bridging and linking) do not have moderator function on participation to empowerment. Several recommendations for future studies were discussed. First, other new variable should be examined and future research will consider using qualitative methods to conduct in-depth discussions in order to identify any additional variables with the potential to influence empowerment of UA program’s respondents. Secondly, future studies should consider in looking factors effecting of weak networking social capital, and the aspects of strengthening participation of UA program’s respondents. Thirdly, other possible factors that possibly influence the empowerment of UA program’s respondents should be investigate. It is anticipated that findings can be used as a basis for the future research related to UA program in Malaysia.
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IntroductionThere has been growing interest in community gardens as an effective and affordable health promotion strategy. However, most available evidence is derived from qualitative studies, whereas quantitative research on this subject is limited.Objectives To synthetize the literature about physical and mental health outcomes associated with community gardening. Two main questions were addressed: a) is there evidence, from quantitative studies, that community gardening is associated to physical and mental health and well-being of non-institutionalized individuals? b) Does community gardening provokes any discomfort in terms of physical health, i.e., bodily pain, to their beneficiaries?MethodsA systematic review of the literature was carried out following PRISMA guidelines by searching relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science). Empirical, quantitative studies published in English with no restrictions concerning the date of publication were considered eligible. The quality of the evidence was appraised using the tool developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies.ResultsOverall, 8 studies were considered eligible, of which seven studies were rated as having good methodological quality (one scored as fair). Community gardeners had significantly better health outcomes than their neighbours not engaged in gardening activities in terms of life satisfaction, happiness, general health, mental health, and social cohesion.Conclusion Community gardens are associated to health gains for their users, irrespective of age, being an affordable and efficient way of promoting physical and mental health and well-being. To encourage the design, maintenance, and prospective evaluation of supportive urban environments promoting healthy and, at the same time, sustainable lifestyles, is essential to achieve public health gains and environmental sustainability.
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The objective of this study was to determine the exercise intensities of 10 gardening tasks for men and women in their 20s. Fifteen university students [(mean ± SD) age 24.7 ± 1.4 years and body mass index 23.5 ± 4.1 kg.m-2] participated in this study. On two occasions, the subjects completed 10 gardening tasks in a high tunnel and a grassy area with weeds located near the high tunnel in Cheongju, Chungbuk, South Korea. They performed five gardening tasks randomly ordered on each occasion. Subjects did each gardening task for 5 minutes and then sat and rested in a chair for 5 minutes before the next task. Each subject wore a portable telemetric calorimeter and respired into the facemask during the gardening tasks and resting periods to measure their oxygen uptake. The subjects also wore a heart rate monitor under their breast to record heart rate data during the gardening tasks and resting periods via radiotelemetry. The 10 gardening tasks performed by the subjects were determined to be moderate- to high-intensity physical activities [3.5 ± 0.5 to 6.3 ± 1.2 metabolic equivalents (MET)]. In conclusion, the exercise intensity of gardening tasks should be useful information for developing garden exercise programs that meet the recommended physical activity for health benefits in adults.
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This article examines community gardens in Loisaida, a part of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. The area is crime ridden, and most of the residents are poor. The gardens serve social and economic functions such as safe, open spaces for socialization and sources of food. Competition for use of the sites for gardening or housing has emerged as a major problem.
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I examine the conflict over the community gardens in New York City. I argue that this contest was an example of Lefebvre's "trial by space," and that ultimately, the struggles concerned the right to space, or "the right to the city." The city, operating from the perspective of entrepreneurial governance, claimed that the gardens represented a loss of exchange value and potential housing. I contend that more was at stake: the gardens and gardeners represented a threat to the hegemonic project of the government to maximize exchange values and to beautify and sanitize the city. I also argue that the issues of commensurability and narrative were critical to the conflict. The city used the rhetoric of a market economy paradigm to dismiss incommensurable use values, thus restricting rights to the city within a demonstration of power and "reason." In response, the garden advocates resorted to "tactics" and other persuasive arguments.
Chapter
Chronic poor health within inner cities is usually the result of prolonged exposure to a multitude of health disparities. These disparities, are exacerbated by poverty, high unemployment, crime and youth violence. In many cases, these factors increase neighborhood instability and civic disengagement. Community garden programs can strengthen civic engagement and foster neighborhood stability, while simultaneously cutting down on youth violence. Community garden programs address the accumulation of health challenges in many ways and provide curative building blocks to deal with poor nutrition, obesity, diabetes, psychological disorders, and deficient growth of infants, substance abuse, civic detachment and suicide rate. Urban agriculture not only strengthens communities from within, but is also a cost-efficient, trans-generational cross cultural, multi-disciplinary tool that can be used to address these issues. This article will summarize a rapidly growing body of research addressing the use of community gardens and the ways in which it can positively impact economic, social, and health-related aspects within inner cities. The article will draw upon the experience of the Neighborhood Community Garden Initiative implemented by Lawrence Massachusetts. The initiative is a community-based multi-pronged approach and demonstrates how lot revitalization and urban agriculture not only address health-challenges but also effectively stabilizes distressed neighborhoods and is a cost effective community-organizing tool. In turn, violence is reduced and residents feel safer, relations with police improve thereby lowering stress levels and empowering residents to take pride and ownership in the further development of their neighborhoods.
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School-based interventions may increase children's preferences for vegetables and fruit (V&F). This Canadian study measured changes in Indigenous First Nations schoolchildren's V&F knowledge, preferences, and home consumption following the implementation of a gardening and V&F snack program. At baseline, 7 months, and 18 months, children in grades 1-6 (i) listed at least 5 V&F they knew, (ii) tasted and indicated their preferences towards 9 vegetables and 8 fruit using a 6-point Likert scale, and (iii) indicated their home consumption of 17 V&F. At all 3 time points, 56.8% (n = 66/116) of children provided data. Children listed a greater number of V&F at 18 months (4.9 ± 0.1) than at baseline (4.5 ± 1.0) or 7 months (4.7 ± .07) (F(1.6,105.6) = 6.225, P < 0.05). Vegetable preferences became more positive between baseline (37.9 ± 9.3) and 7 months (39.9 ± 9.2), but returned to baseline levels at 18 months (37.3 ± 8.7) (F(1.6,105.8) = 4.581, P < 0.05). Fruit preferences at 18 months (42.7 ± 3.0) were greater than at baseline (41.1 ± 4.3) and at 7 months (41.9 ± 5.1) (F(1.7,113.3) = 3.409, P < 0.05). No change in V&F consumption occurred at home. Despite improvements in V&F knowledge and preferences, home consumption of V&F did not occur. Complementing school-based programs with home-based components may be needed to influence V&F intake of children.
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This article integrates community gardens and farmers' markets into a spatial analysis of food deserts in the City of Edmonton, Canada. Our results show that community gardens and farmers' markets can improve fresh food accessibility and help relieve food desert problems to some extent, especially for mature, inner-suburban neighborhoods. However, based on the minimum road network distance and high need indicators, four neighborhoods throughout the city can still be considered as food deserts even after farmers' markets and community gardens are taken into consideration. Regression results reveal that community gardens tend to cluster with supermarkets, so that neighborhoods that have poor access to supermarkets also tend to have limited access to community gardens.
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Prompted by the curious fact that both progressive environmentalists and Conservative Party politicians have recently drawn on popular understandings of austerity associated with Britain’s wartime domestic gardening campaign, this article broadens the range of histories associated with Dig for Victory. It suggests firstly that far from simply encouraging self-sufficiency, the government conceptualised Dig for Victory as requiring the extension of order and control into the domestic sphere. Second, it shows how the ideal figure of a national citizen digging for victory elided differentiated gender and class experiences of gardening, and finally the article demonstrates that statistics of food production were more about fostering trust than picturing the realities of vegetable growing. By so doing the paper illuminates the particular ways in which present-day articulations of Dig for Victory’s history are partial and selective.
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Objectives: We examined the association of participation in community gardening with healthy body weight. Methods: We examined body mass index (BMI) data from 198 community gardening participants in Salt Lake City, Utah, in relationship to BMI data for 3 comparison groups: neighbors, siblings, and spouses. In comparisons, we adjusted for gender, age, and the year of the BMI measurement. Results: Both women and men community gardeners had significantly lower BMIs than did their neighbors who were not in the community gardening program. The estimated BMI reductions in the multivariate analyses were -1.84 for women and -2.36 for men. We also observed significantly lower BMIs for women community gardeners compared with their sisters (-1.88) and men community gardeners compared with their brothers (-1.33). Community gardeners also had lower odds of being overweight or obese than did their otherwise similar neighbors. Conclusions: The health benefits of community gardening may go beyond enhancing the gardeners' intake of fruits and vegetables. Community gardens may be a valuable element of land use diversity that merits consideration by public health officials who want to identify neighborhood features that promote health.
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Governments around the world are recognising the importance of measuring subjective well-being as an indicator of progress. But how should well-being be measured? A conceptual framework is offered which equates high well-being with positive mental health. Well-being is seen as lying at the opposite end of a spectrum to the common mental disorders (depression, anxiety). By examining internationally agreed criteria for depression and anxiety (DSM and ICD classifications), and defining the opposite of each symptom, we identify ten features of positive well-being. These combine feeling and functioning, i.e. hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of well-being: competence, emotional stability, engagement, meaning, optimism, positive emotion, positive relationships, resilience, self esteem, and vitality. An operational definition of flourishing is developed, based on psychometric analysis of indicators of these ten features, using data from a representative sample of 43,000 Europeans. Application of this definition to respondents from the 23 countries which participated in the European Social Survey (Round 3) reveals a four-fold difference in flourishing rate, from 41% in Denmark to less than 10% in Slovakia, Russia and Portugal. There are also striking differences in country profiles across the 10 features. These profiles offer fresh insight into cultural differences in well-being, and indicate which features may provide the most promising targets for policies to improve well-being. Comparison with a life satisfaction measure shows that valuable information would be lost if well-being was measured by life satisfaction. Taken together, our findings reinforce the need to measure subjective well-being as a multi-dimensional construct in future surveys.