Institute for Economic
and Environmental Policy

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Improving society’s resilience to effects of crisis by increasing food self-sufficiency

Promotion of establishment of urban community gardens (CG) to mitigate economic and social impacts of crises.

Community gardens brings numerous benefits for their members not only in the form of crop production or promotion of social relations, as well as other city inhabitants. As a green element in the urban environment, they contribute to improving quality of life by providing ecosystem services, including rainwater runoff regulation, air quality regulation and microclimate cooling. In a broader context, they additionally perform educational, recreational and cultural functions, and are a place for safe meetings in the public space, a venue for cultural events, education for children, etc. From elected municipal representatives’ point of view, they meet goals of climate change adaptation strategies and may contribute to development of neglected or otherwise unused urban land. Promotion of urban CG is thus also beneficial for inhabitants not directly affected by impacts of crises.

The objective of this interdisciplinary project is to identify the potential for reducing negative impacts of crises by establishment of community gardens on municipal land leading to increasing food self-sufficiency of city inhabitants. A survey among community garden members, coordinators as well as city inhabitants and elected municipal representatives will identify benefits of community gardens during the COVID-19 crisis, barriers to establishment of urban CG and most appropriate plots of land, along with checking the demand among inhabitants for involvement in urban agriculture in community gardens. Eventually, we will identify the overall potential for CG establishment by municipalities in order to mitigate negative impacts of economic and social crises on inhabitants.

In this project, the IEEP research team follows up on its previous research dealing with benefits of community gardens and motivations of their members. The findings will be dissemination in collaboration with KOKOZA, o.p.s., and will be used to support establishment of specific urban community gardens in selected cities.

 

Funding agency: Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TL05000718)
Duration: 05/2021 – 12/2023
Contact person: Jan Macháč, e-mail: machac@ieep.cz
Researchers: Jan Macháč, Lenka Dubová, Marek Hekrle, Jan Vávra
In cooperation with: KOKOZA, o.p.s. (project partner)
Project outcomes: The main project outcome will be a Summary Research Report, presenting benefits of CG during crises, demand for urban CG among inhabitants, supply by municipalities and factors of CG sustainability, providing recommendations for elimination barriers to CG establishment, and presenting a procedure for identifying suitable sites for CG establishment in Czech cities.