Seeding Social Capital? Urban Community Gardening and Social Capital

Søren Christensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelFormidling


There is a continuing debate regarding urban community gardening’s benefits to local communities, and a particularly interesting branch of this debate has focused on community gardens capacity to encourage and facilitate
social interaction, which may generate social capital. Social capital is an increasingly important concept in international research and measures of social capital have been associated with various measures of health. In a meta-analysis of literature published between 2000 and 2016 regarding community gardens’ social advantages, through the lens of the concept of social capital, it is demonstrated that several studies substantiate that urban community gardens create social capital, both bonding and bridging, and exhibit indications of linking. It is moreover identified how there is much to be learned from future research, illuminating how urban community gardens can foster social capital, and thus benefit cities and local communities. The meta-analysis finds
that mixed methods approaches can enrich future research on how urban community gardens can foster social capital, and thus benefit cities and local communities. Particular promising would be using qualitative methods that focus on the meanings ascribed to urban garden’s activities in combination with documenting the sociodemographic, ethnic, and cultural composition of the volunteers and gardeners, in comparison with the local neighborhood in
general. The analysis’ findings furthermore implicates there is much to be learned from more focus on the structural dimensions of social capital, in addition to the cognitive dimensions, as this would yield a more nuanced depiction of social advantages of urban community gardening.
TidsskriftCivil Engineering and Architecture
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)104-123
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2017


  • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold