Is there a demand for collective urban gardens? Needs and motivations of potential gardeners in Belgrade


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There is a renewed interest in urban gardening in the past decade stimulated by the increased awareness of benefits that it brings to the city, local communities, and individuals. Previous studies have shown different perspectives on urban food growing in the context of developed and developing countries, but less is known about the countries in transition in Southeast Europe. Specifically, no published research has coped with the perspectives of the possible future users of allotment and community gardens. This paper fills the gap to a certain extent by providing first insights into the demand for collective urban gardens in the city of Belgrade. There are no institutional tools at present to support the development of such gardens, although there has been an almost century-long process of advocating collective urban gardening among the experts in city planning. By looking into the possible future needs and motivations of the potential gardeners, specifically, those who are not involved in allotment or community gardening, this study also aims to contribute to the efforts made in the past. The survey was conducted among 300 randomly selected respondents in three municipalities in Belgrade. Data were analysed using factor analytic—multiple regression approach to establish correlations between personal characteristics of potential gardeners and their motivations for gardening. Results indicated a potentially high demand for collective urban gardens, with individual plots slightly preferred to shared gardens. Commonly mentioned motivations are access to healthy and fresh food followed by recreation and light physical activity. People with previous experience in agriculture or gardening are more willing to get involved. Older respondents seem to be more motivated by „subjective well-being“, specifically in terms of relaxation and pleasure from gardening. The results of the study could serve as an input for the regulation and planning of collective urban gardens, specifically considering the needs and motivations of the senior population in cities.

Reference

Čepić, S; Dubljević-Tomićević, J; Živojinović, I. (2020) Is there a demand for collective urban gardens? Needs and motivations of potential gardeners in Belgrade. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 126716 (in press)

*This paper is co-authored by the researcher from the Forest Policy Research Network