Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Urban community gardens in a shrinking city: Community strength and the urban community gardens of Cleveland, Ohio
by Luke, Jacqueline A., M.A., Kent State University, 2013, 140; 1555289
Abstract (Summary)

Cleveland has experienced population loss in the past decade because of the economic and foreclosure crisis, which caused many of the residents to move away, creating an increase in vacant homes and lots. Urban community gardens are a form of greenspace that repurposes vacant homes and lots that would otherwise be potential sites for debris, dumping, arson, squatters, and crime. Other forms of greenspace have been shown to positively increase feelings of community, ties to place, and create feelings of safety while offering social space and recreation areas in urban environments. I conducted a survey at three urban community gardens in different Cleveland neighborhoods to determine who was using the gardens, how they were using them and if garden participation increased feelings of community, community strength, and improved how the participants felt about their neighbors and neighborhood. Non-gardeners were also surveyed for comparison. Survey results indicate that the gardens are similar to other forms of urban greenspace in that they serve to increase feelings of community, create ties to place by creating neighborhood satisfaction, and increasing feelings of safety. This research suggests that urban gardens are a positive way to repurpose vacant land in residential neighborhoods by offering greenspace and strengthening the community.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taylor, Emariana
Commitee: Kaplan, David, Munro-Stasiuk, Mandy
School: Kent State University
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geography, Social psychology, Land Use Planning, Public policy
Keywords: Cleveland, Community, Community strength, Gardens, Ohio, Urban garden
Publication Number: 1555289
ISBN: 9781303873973
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