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Free Content Shoots and leaves: exploring the impacts and fragile sustainability of sustainable place-making projects working with marginalised people

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This article contributes to emerging research on sustainable place-making, but makes an important contribution through a strong focus on outcomes for marginalised people and the need for long-term sustainability. Sustainable place-making combines ‘place-making’ and ‘sustainable development’ to describe locally focused action working towards social, economic and environmental goals (Franklin and Marsden, 2015). The article explores an externally funded charity-led project working in a deprived area of the UK, implementing urban agriculture, community gardening and household energy activities. The project successfully engaged marginalised people, who strongly voiced outcomes including reduced isolation, improved mental health and increased resilience and self-reliance. Support from staff, volunteering in a team, enjoying gardening, accessing nature and financial savings provided a platform for impacts. Environmental outcomes were less tangible but included improvements to the local environment and reduced energy usage. However, after the funding finished, marginalised participants were vulnerable to outcomes not being sustained in the long term.

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Keywords: community gardening; long-term sustainability; marginalised people; sustainable place-making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hull, UK

Publication date: July 2020

This article was made available online on June 1, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Shoots and leaves: exploring the impacts and fragile sustainability of sustainable place-making projects working with marginalised people".

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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