Community gardens in Israel: Characteristics and perceived functions

Ina Filkobski, Yodan Rofè, Alon Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In light of a growing awareness that quality green open spaces are an important part of healthy and sustainable cities this paper seeks to examine the rapidly developing Israeli community gardens (CG). As most of the contemporary academic literature regarding CG relies predominantly on North American experience, this article wishes to explore the extent and characteristics of CGs in Israel and the local public's involvement in these projects in order to enrich the global insight about this growing phenomenon. The data were obtained through survey questionnaire distributed to 44 CG coordinators followed by field work conducted in four CGs. Our findings show that, consistently with research in North America and Europe, Israeli CGs serve as community anchors and demonstrate the potential to be sites of encounter for different groups of city residents. Another important function of Israeli CGs is creating civically engaging green open space and allowing urban dwellers access to the land. Our findings indicate that CGs in highly urbanized and multicultural societies have the potential to engage diverse communities and provide a valuable site for civic engagement with urban public spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Community development
  • Community gardens in Israel
  • Open green spaces
  • Urban sustainability

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