UCL Department of Geography


Yaqian Zhang

More about Yaqian
  • 2020-present: MPhil/PhD Human Geography, University College London
  • MSc International Planning, BSP, University College London
  • BEng Architecture, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • BA Environmental Design, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Research Interests

In China, rapid urbanisation has caused serious social, food and environmental problems.

Community gardens, which are generally defined as a type of open space that is collaboratively cultivated with either vegetables or flowers by local residents, have sprung up and evolved dramatically in many Chinese cities in recent years as a reaction to the lack of social capital and food security, as well as increasing pollution.

Community gardens have the potential to support the building of social relationships and community cohesion, the provision of safe food stocks, the promotion of public health, and the improvement of the green ecological system.

Also, edible landscapes have become a popular form of community garden in recent years. However, existing analysis lacks holistic research and looks at community gardens from a narrow perspective, focusing mainly on design, construction and related policies.

In this context this research aims to study the 'relationship' and 'connection' within community gardens by exploring social infrastructure, social capital and edible landscapes in community gardens, eventually providing guidelines for the creation of sustainable participatory community gardens in China's urban context.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in my project.