Greening Cities, Growing Communities

Jeffrey Hou, Julie M. Johnson, and Laura J. Lawson

  • $40.00s paperback (9780295989280) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2009
  • Subject Listing: Architecture; Food; Pacific Northwest
  • Bibliographic information: 232 pp., 140 illus., 130 in color, 8 x 10 in.
  • Published with: Landscape Architecture Foundation
  • Contents

Although there are thousands of community gardens across North America, only Seattle and a few other cities include them in their urban development plans. While the conditions and experiences in Seattle may be unique, the city's programs offer insights and lessons for other cities and communities. Greening Cities, Growing Communities examines:

- Planning and design strategies that support the development of urban community gardens as sustainable places for education and recreation

- Approaches to design processes, construction, and stewardship that utilize volunteer and community participation and create a sense of community

- Programs that enable gardens to serve as a resource for social justice for low income and minority communities, immigrants, and seniors

- Opportunities to develop active-living frameworks by strategically locating community gardens and linking them with other forms of recreation and open space as part of pedestrian-accessible networks

Greening Cities, Growing Communities focuses on six community gardens in Seattle where there has been a strong network of knowledge and resources. These case studies reveal the capacity of community gardens to serve larger community issues, such as food security; urban ecosystem health; demonstration of sustainable gardening and building practices; active living and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods; and equity concerns. The authors also examine how landscape architects, planners, and allied design professionals can better interact in the making of these unique urban open spaces, and how urban community gardens offer opportunities for professionals to have a more prominent role in community activism and urban sustainability.
Jeffrey Hou and Julie M. Johnson are associate professors of landscape architecture at the University of Washington. Laura J. Lawson is associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Introduction: A Case for Urban Community Gardens as Public Open Space

Part I. Understanding Urban Community Gardens

1. Community Gardens in America
Research and Literature on Community Gardens
Roles and Resources Community Gardens Provide
Understanding Community Gardens

2. Making and Sustaining a Community Garden
Initial Conception
The Garden Site
Design and Design Process
Implementation and Maintenance
Participation and Leadership
Evolution and Evaluation
Citywide Planning

3. Seattle Model: Local Activism and Institutional Support
Geography and Local Economy
Demographic Change
A City of Neighborhoods and Civic Activism
Seattle's Community Garden History
A Web of Support for Community Gardens
Supportive City and Neighborhood Planning
Community Garden Development and Land Tenure
Funding Programs
A City Ripe for Community Gardening

Part II. Seattle Case Studies

4. Interbay P-Patch
Tour of Interbay P-Patch
Background and History: Building Community through Adversity
Design Process and Implementation: Design for Efficiency and Social Activity
Funding and Support: Creative Reuse
Organization and Participation: Team Leadership
Programs and Functions: Celebrating Garden and Community
Contextual Factors and Challenges: Problems of Pilfering
Special Lesson: Expanding Beyond the Garden to Help Others

5. Thistle P-Patch
Tour of Thistle P-Patch
Background and History: Forgotten and Rediscovered
Design Process and Implementation: Maximizing Garden Productivity
Funding and Support: External Resources
Organization and Participation: A Garden Made by Immigrants
Programs and Functions: A P-Patch Serving Immigrant Gardeners
Contextual Factors and Challenges: Conflicts with Neighbors
Special Lesson: Serving Immigrant Gardeners in Multiple Ways
Special Lesson: Community Change on the Horizon

6. Danny Woo International District Community Garden
Tour of Danny Woo Community Garden: Urban Refuge and Neighborhood Jewel
Background and History: Rebuilding an Inner-City Community
Design Process and Implementation: "A Work in Progress"
Funding and Support: Community Entrepreneurism
Organization and Participation: Serving a Special Population
Program and Functions; Local Food Security, Education, and Habitat
Contextual Factors and Challenges: Addressing the Presence of Illicit Activities
Special Lesson: Fulfilling the Multiple Needs of Elderly Immigrant Gardeners
Special Lesson: Community Design/Build

7. Bradner Gardens Park
Tour of Bradner Gardens Park
Background and History: "Protect Our Park"
Design Process and Implementation: Creative Responses to Fulfill Multiple Functions
Funding and Support: Leveraging
Organization and Participation: Partnerships
Programs and Functions: A Garden for Learning
Contextual Factors and Challenges: Gentrification and Neighborhood Change
Special Lesson: Green Building Practices

8. Marra Farm
Tour of Marra Farm
Background and History: A Farm Reclaimed
Design Process and Implementation: Incremental Change
Funding and Support: Diverse Sources for Myriad Improvements
Organization and Participation: A Coalition of Interests
Programs and Functions: Serving Individuals and Targeted Groups
Contextual Factors and Challenges: A Green Enclave
Special Lesson: The Urban Farm Experience and Opportunity

9. Magnuson Community Garden
Tour of Magnuson Community Garden
Background and History: A Garden within a Park
Design Process and Implementation: A Guiding Master Plan with Incrementally Designed Areas
Funding and Support: Seeking Funding and Broad-Based Volunteer Efforts
Organization and Participation: Managing Multiple Gardens as One
Programs and Functions: Synergies of Activity
Contextual Factors and Challenges: Eyes on the Garden
Special Lesson: A Community Garden Enriching a Large Urban Park

Part III. Lessons from Seattle

10. Expressions and Challenges of Sustainability
Multiple Expressions of Urban Sustainability
Challenges for Urban Community Gardens

11. Designing and Supporting Urban Gardens as Hybrid Public Space
Design Lessons: Reflecting Context and User Needs
Hybrid Public Space
Is Seattle Unique?

12. Visions of Urban Community Gardens: People, Communities, and Cities
Individuals and Families: Choices, Diversity, and Empowerment
Neighborhood and Community: Reconstructing the Commons
Districts, Cities, and Coalition: From "Emerald Necklace" to "Eggplant Networks"

Realizing the Visions
- What Gardeners Can Do
- What Designers and Planners Can Do
- What Researchers and Educators Can Do
- What Nonprofit Organizations Can Do
- What City Officials and Agencies Can Do
- What Citizens Can Do
- References
- Resources
- Index

"Greening Cities, Growing Communities does more than tell the story of a single city or even a single country; it offers essential reading on urban community gardens as promising public green space for the 21st century."
-Journal of Landscape Architecture

"Excellent tables, indexing, and specific strategic objectives outline a vision for like-minded readers."

"Green Cities Growing Communities is one of the most informative books regarding urban community gardens available today. It is more of a reference than a story, more of a tool than an inspiration. While many books argue the merit, need and importance of urban gardens, few shed light on the practical details involved with initiating, constructing and maintaining an urban garden . . . . Being rich in content and evidence-based arguments are distinguishing characteristics of this book. Green Cites Growing Communities tackles the political, economic, social and design issues that are absolutely crucial in bringing an urban garden to life. The six case studies provide proven, tangible, and actionable advice for the everyday gardener hoping to enrich their neighborhood."
-re:place Magazine

"Hou, Johnson, and Lawson have put together a thorough and beautiful look at a collection of community gardens built and maintained under very different conditions. This book will help those planning or advocating for community gardens understand a wide range of implementation and maintenance issues..Greening Cities, Growing Communities thoughtfully compares the designs and uses of community gardens in unique situations, from a redeveloped farm on the city's edges to a steep slope owned by a private citizen and city agencies."
-Landscape Architecture

"Those who know and love these gardens will appreciate this lavishly illustrated book. Professionals looking to adapt Seattle's community gardening model elsewhere will find a useful template. Greening Cities provides another angle for understanding what makes Seattle Seattle."
-Seattle City Living