FLOURISHING COMMUNITIES. A case study approach to determine the influence of Community Garden Initiatives on food-related practices in the Netherlands

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Current food systems are highly unsustainable and have a variety of social, environmental and economic impacts, increasing the urgency for new, more sustainable food systems. This thesis first aimed to determine the potential and challenges of community garden initiatives. Secondly, the goal was to determine the influence of such initiatives on food-related practices among participants and non-participants. Two community garden initiatives were chosen as cases to study this influence, namely the Plukroute in Hank and Wereldtuin Verdeliet in Cuijk. The findings showed that community garden initiatives yield a variety of social, economic and environmental benefits. However, there are also some barriers and challenges that should be considered, including environmental, physical and individual or community level challenges. Furthermore, the findings showed that participation in such initiatives had an influence on meanings, materials and competences of the food-related practices. The interaction between these elements led to the development of new, more sustainable practices. These practices are shared with non-participants through informal conversations, social media, and workshops or by sharing something in the local newspaper. Ultimately, it can be stated that community garden initiatives have great potential in contributing to a transition towards more sustainable food systems of provision and consumption.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen