Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223367
Title: COMMUNITY GARDENING: EXPLORING MOTIVATIONS FOR PARTICIPATION AND ITS ROLE IN FOSTERING HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELLBEING IN SINGAPORE
Authors: SEOW WUI KHENG JEFF
Keywords: 2020-2021
Dean's Office (Environmental Management)
Master's
MASTER OF SCIENCE (ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT)
MEM
Audrey Chia
Issue Date: 16-Aug-2021
Citation: SEOW WUI KHENG JEFF (2021-08-16). COMMUNITY GARDENING: EXPLORING MOTIVATIONS FOR PARTICIPATION AND ITS ROLE IN FOSTERING HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELLBEING IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Increased global urbanisation has placed various pressures on the world’s cities, with urban living often associated with adverse public health and social issues. These include rising prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases due to unhealthy urban lifestyles and environment, and declining community cohesion that gives rise to social polarization. Past studies have suggested that community gardens are a potential solution to positively transform urban landscapes, and contribute to healthier cities and more socially engaged communities. However, evidence is largely limited to the Western societies. This study aims to explore the motivations for engaging in community gardening, as well as to understand the role of community gardens in fostering health and social wellbeing in the local context. Using a qualitative case study approach, this paper presents findings from semi-structured interviews with 43 gardeners from 6 community gardens in Singapore. The study reveals diverse motivating factors for community garden participation, which can change over time. Eight themes are identified of which the expectation of physical activity, an interest in gardening, a need to find purpose in life, and a desire for social connections with others emerge as strong motives for many gardeners. The study also shows that community gardening is associated with positive health and social benefits, for individuals and the community. These include active lifestyles, positive psychological outcomes, and constructive social dynamics. To promote participation and long-term sustainability of community gardens, improvements to four areas, namely garden leadership, design and implementation, means of funding, and network of support, are described. While community gardens are not the panacea for improving public health, enhancing social cohesion and developing sustainable city, they are a viable contributor, and should be regarded and incorporated as an integral part of the urban sustainable development strategies.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223367
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