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One Landscape, Multiple Meanings: Revisiting Contemporary Discourses on Urban Community Gardens

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Contemporary urban community gardens are embraced by municipalities and residents, making them a widely spreading phenomenon. The academic literature, though, understands this phenomenon in diff erent, sometime diametric, ways. Some studies conceptualize urban community gardens as a socio-spatial practice that is transformative of both social relations and spatial urban arrangements; a space with a potential to materialize new ideas of cooperation-based relations and sustainable urbanism. Other studies criticize the romantic view of urban community gardens and analyse them as another form of greenwash and as another strategy of neoliberal development. This article reviews the existing discourses of urban community gardens, with a focus on North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean Basin and offers an integrative perspective to understand this evolving urban landscape. This perspective takes into account the broad, sometimes conflicting, understandings of the phenomenon and amalgamates them to create a complex reading of what kind of landscape is produced by community gardens.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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