Enhancing urban nature and place-making in social housing through community gardening

Son Truong (Lead / Corresponding author), Tonia Gray, Kumara Ward

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    5 Citations (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)


    There is a growing body of literature examining the multifaceted benefits of community gardens for environmental and social wellbeing. While there are studies examining the increase of grassroots urban gardening initiatives in low income and vulnerable communities, there remains a need for research that explores the lived experiences of individuals in social housing communities with urban nature and community gardens. Individuals living in urban social housing may experience inequalities in access to green infrastructure both within their housing estates as well as the surrounding community. For the past two decades, the Community Greening program at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australia, has implemented outreach initiatives to support the development and maintenance of community gardens in social housing communities in New South Wales. This article presents the findings from a study conducted with participants at six new community gardens built in social housing communities, focusing specifically on focus group interviews with residents and staff questionnaires to examine the perceived impact of the Community Greening program. The participants’ narratives highlight program outcomes across the key themes of community gardens as sites for knowledge generation and connection to nature, sense of community, and improving residents' sense of pride and public perceptions of public housing. The findings suggest that community gardens enhance green infrastructure in social housing estates and their broader urban locales by improving access to green space and promoting place-making in social housing contexts. We conclude with a discussion of the recommendations and lessons learned that may help to inform future policies and practices when setting priorities that promote social and environmental sustainability in social housing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number127586
    Number of pages8
    JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
    Early online date29 Apr 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


    • Community connection
    • Green infrastructure
    • Nature-based solution
    • Sense of place
    • Social cohesion
    • Urban gardens

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Forestry
    • Ecology
    • Soil Science


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