Cultivating inclusive public space with urban gardens

Cultivating inclusive public space with urban gardens

Publication Type:
article-journal
Date Issued:
2023
Authors:
Melissa Anna Murphy , Peter Parker , Margot Hermus
Publisher:
Routledge
Language:
eng
Page:
99-116
DOI:
10.1080/13549839.2022.2120461
Abstract:

A promise of urban gardening (UG) is allowing individuals to shape and engage with the built environment, bringing people together in public space. Municipalities may promote UG in public space for a wide variety of reasons such as enabling integration, reducing crime, or promoting area attractivity. While there is a general sense that UG can contribute to inclusive public space in these efforts, previous research provides ambiguous findings. UG in public space requires balancing inclusive and exclusive practices to create common values, as a select group of engaged members inherently shape space in their interest. UG initiatives vary considerably with respect to their aims, organisational forms, and spatial contexts - affecting inclusion in public space in different manners. The article seeks to unpack how urban settings, organisational forms, and municipal enabling affect UG practices towards inclusion in public space. To do so, the article draws on the theory of urban commons and intertwines it with research on inclusion in public space. This provides an understanding of multi-faceted UG governance and its exclusionary aspects. A framework is not only developed and applied to critically, but also constructively, to review how municipalities enable UG. A comparative analysis of UG initiatives in three Northern European municipalities explores both municipal enabling and the co-production of inclusive public space. The research abductively refines the framework for understanding the co-production of inclusive public space in UG. We argue that the findings and resulting framework have implications for research and for municipal enabling of UG towards inclusive public space.