Rooftop gardens for inclusión, health and well-being of socially vulnerable colectives
Urban gardening is known to bring ample health and social benefits for residents. Participating in community gardens, urban farms, and other types of gardening projects in the city offer new opportunities for physical activity, create and strengthen social contacts and relationships, address stress and other mental health needs, and contribute to overall well-being. Those benefits are particularly evident for socially vulnerable groups, including lower-income residents, immigrants, residents with disabilities, children, or the elderly.
Throughout 2018, BCNUEJ researchers will coordinate and conduct a research study, in partnership with ISGlobal (Barcelona Institute for Global Health) for the IMPD (Barcelona Municipal Institute for People with Disability), to assess the benefits and opportunities of the municipal rooftop garden program aimed at people with disabilities in the city of Barcelona. This project also benefits from the technical support of IRTA (Catalan Institute for Technology and Agri-food Research).
BCNUEJ will assess the impacts of the project on participants, taking inclusion, health, and wellbeing into consideration through surveys and interviews of farmers, families, and social workers. Our goal is to understand the benefits that gained by participants from being in regular contact with urban nature and gardening, participating in different stages of food production, developing new relationships with one another and with the surrounding community of municipal workers and residents, building ties in the neighborhood, and being involved in new social and learning opportunities.
The study will also help assess the opportunities for extending and replicating the two pilot gardens that the city currently has in place in the Districts of Example (Carrer València, 344) and Sants (Carrer Creu Coberta, 104) to new spaces in the city. More broadly, this project furthers BCNUEJ’s interest in social projects that can provide well-being for socially-vulnerable groups in the city while delivering diverse ecological benefits and ecosystem services in the city.