Limits to growth?
Why gardening has limited success growing inclusive communities
in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice
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Community has been presented as central to urban gardens’ practices and outcomes. This chapter considers what kind of communities result and whether they can tackle inequality, questioning their potential as an inclusive basis for challenging injustice. Answering these questions requires attention to activities forming garden communities and their spatiality. Informed by relational geography, the chapter challenges simplistic treatments of links between garden, community and place. Case studies from the UK demonstrate how facets enabling gardens to form communities result in exclusivity, unintentionally limiting who can access their benefits. Communities formed through collective place-making are found to struggle to extend across space and time, limiting their potential to reduce social inequalities. Achieving wider change requires work to push spatial relations across time to imagine a better future, and across space towards neighbours, social justice movements and structural causes of injustice.


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