UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Community Gardening, Social Networks and Wellbeing

This research investigates the social and economic impacts of community gardening and food growing in East London.

Two women pose in a community garden

8 August 2016

Mobile Garden City, a temporary moveable community garden and growing space, is a case study for this research. It follows the early development of the garden, from its soft launch in July 2015, and the involvement of community volunteers.

It explores how temporary community spaces are used to encourage local social cohesion and sustainable communities as part of larger urban regeneration schemes.

The project complements the IGP’s wider work in East London on what sustainable, equitable communities look like and how to build them, highlighting local understandings of prosperity.

Primarily ethnographic in approach, the project is also testing and refining notation tools for understanding the sensory and phenomenological aspects of the built environment. It will be the basis for a comparative study with community gardening in Marakwet, Kenya, where plans for a botanic garden and community plant nursery are underway.

Mobile Garden City was funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and is located on Chobham Manor in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.