Social Impacts

Derived from our research project literature review…

Community gardens serve as social spaces providing a relaxing environment for people to connect with new people. They can accommodate people of any age, ability and ethnicity which means that people from different backgrounds get to share ideas, stories, advice and knowledge. This generates social resilience, necessary in this day in age where we live in a world often detached from our neighbours.

Quantitative Measures

Impacts vary for different generations and can be different for people with different interests. Common measures across these subsets include numbers of people involved, hours involved and also the number of facilities, programs and /or activities for each subset.

Measures on numbers of youths up-skilled as well as the numbers indicating positive attitude changes and improved association with their community can be valuable to collect for that subset,

Qualitative Measures

Pre and post program code answers from interviews with members of the community, young and old, can support qualitative assessment of benefits. An example question might be ‘What does a garden give back to the community?’ or ‘How does a garden affect safety in the community?’ Answers to these questions can inform us about perceptions around community safety and crime.


  • Bendt, P., Barthel, S., & Colding, J. (2012). Civic greening and environmental learning in public-access community gardens in Berlin. Landscape and Urban Planning 109, 18-30.
  • Earle, M. (2011). Cultivating Health: Community Gardening as a Public Health Intervention. Wellington: University of Otago.
  • Glover, T. (2004). Social Capital in the Lived Experiences of Community Gardeners. Leisure Sciences, 143-162.
  • Kinglsey, J., Townsend, M., & Henderson-Wilson, C. (2009). Cultivating health and wellbeing: members’ perceptions of the health benefits of a Port Melbourne community garden. Leisure Studies, 207-219.
  • Okvat, H., & Zautra, A. (2011). Community Gardening: A Parsimonious Path to Individual, Community, and Environmental Resilience. Tempe: Society for Community Research and Action 2011.
  •  Parry, D., Glover, T., & Shinew, K. (2005). ‘Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Gaden Grow?: Examining Gender Roles and Relations in Community Gardens. Leisure Studies Vol. 24, No. 2, 177-192.
  • Wakefeild, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C., Reynolds, J., & Skinner, A. (2007). Growing Urban Health: Community Gardening in South-East Toronto. Oxford University Press.

To explore these impacts areas and measures in more detail look to the full Literature Review report further on this site.