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.