Constructing community gardens? Residents’ attitude and behaviour towards edible landscapes in emerging urban communities of China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

53 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-165
Journal / PublicationUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


Community gardens are very popular in developed countries, providing multiple benefits to inhabitants. In developing China, residents in many emerging urban communities of China have been appropriating and reclaiming public open spaces intentionally as a leisure opportunity and transforming their entertainment functions into vegetable plots, which has caused a series of conflicts and disputes. However, this issue of informal community gardening has rarely been discussed formally at community level. Therefore, this study aims to learn and better understand what factors motivate residents to reclaim existing public open spaces for gardening and cultivating plants. The approach was to select and study informal community gardens in three urbanizing communities in Hangzhou, China. These emerging communities consist, to a significant extent, of people with farming experience, who have relocated here from previously rural areas during the urban expansion from the year 2000 to the current day. The informal community gardening takes place in the context of lack of community management, neglected public infrastructure and a disregard for resident's living needs such as their personal sentiment, social activity, food quality and saving expenses. While most people are willing to participate in community gardening and those who do not want to contribute are not substantially against the activity. In the conclusions, suggestions are made about how to fulfil resident's requirements and are presented at both community and city levels so that they may inform to the growth of emerging communities in other cities and countries undergoing rapid urbanization.

Research Area(s)

  • Community gardens, Developing countries, Edible landscapes, Emerging urban communities, Perceived attitudes and behaviours

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