Urban Gardens as Meeting Places in Göteborg, Budapest and Bucharest: Building Collaborative Capacity for Sustainability in Different Socio-economic Contexts

Research project
Active research
Project size
6 246 632
Project period
2019 - 2024
Project owner
Department of Sociology and Work Science

Short description

This project explores how diverse forms of urban gardening contribute to social and environmental sustainability, and what the limitations to such effects are in different contexts. From this we will learn how the planning and design of gardens, as green infrastructure and meeting places in the city, can promote social and environmental sustainability. We contribute a comparative study and case choice that represents cities of different global positions and urban governance regimes (Göteborg, Bucharest, Budapest), and gardening cases in each city that represent different participants across social divisions.

We employ a bottom-up research approach, attuned to the processes through which gardening practices can, or fail to, construct connections and collective capacities across social divides. Moreover, we keep a strong focus on the contextual factors that shape (and limit) the different development of the cases. To this goal, our research questions are:

1) How do social connections developed through gardening enable ecological lifestyles and food resilience?

2) How does gardening promote social sustainability through creating meeting spaces, shared knowledges, and capacity for collaboration across social divides?

3) How do broader social, economic and political factors shape the development of our cases, and how can policy and design strengthen their sustainability aspect in the different contexts?

Project participants: Prof. Kerstin Jacobsson (PI), dr. Ioana Florea, dr. Agnes Gagyi and dr. Ylva Wallinder.