"A single square metre of land can produce 30 kg of tomatoes per year, 100 onions in 120 days or 36 heads of lettuce every 60 days" (Oxford University). That same square metres of land can simultaneously generate positive social outputs including skills development, mutual support, cooperation, inclusion, social cohesion, well-being and civic engagement. They are the fruits of the earth and seeds for society.
The urban community garden is a community asset that can help shape concrete green policies that focus on improving the community. Urban community gardens are innovative places that can also implement public policies linked to sustainability. They can be used as a local tool with which the public sector can learn to relate in a supportive way, in order to exploit its potential.
Private sector organisations who want to be involved with corporate social responsibility need tools to understand the integrity of the community urban garden project and the impact they have on their area, in order to support urban community gardens financially in their development.
The internal governance of the community garden also needs objective evaluation tools to show where there is room for improvement and to highlight possible development priorities in order to achieve as much as possible in 6 different areas:
- Aesthetics (urban design)
- Inter-actions between the other 5 areas
For these reasons, we are working internationally to build a dashboard of indicators that allows the community urban garden to self-assess and evaluate its impact on their community through the so-called “quasi-experimental method”.