Really insightful article on the benefit of quantifying community gardens to policy makers.
“Gardeners are Philadelphia’s vacant land stewards,” says Cahn. “Yet from a policy perspective, the city still views urban agriculture as a temporary activity.”
“The surveys project helps tell both stories — of the resurgent interest in gardens and the continued need to preserve them.”
Specifically, the research has revealed improving conditions for Philadelphia’s community gardens. “Gardens and farms have increased by over 100 in the past four years,” Cahn says. The survey data will help her make a legal case for gardens across the city.
These surveys add to a large body of research on the benefits of gardening on vacant land. A recent study by another University of Pennsylvania researcher found that planting gardens on empty lots reduced violence in the surrounding area. Further research is needed to tell whether it’s the gardeners themselves or their plants that are driving away gangbangers.
Read the entire article via Counting the harvest: How numbers can save urban gardens | Grist.