Community Planning in Urban Gardens: Integrating Children as Participants in the Local Food System
It is well established that urban gardens, when properly managed, positively impact food security, youth development, and social inclusion. However, few researchers focus on how they impact childhood food security specifically, and even fewer focus on how this effect can be increased through the inclusion of youth in community planning. This question is important because increasing children’s participation in urban gardens increases their access to food, which increases their food security. Therefore, if we can adequately find ways to integrate children as participants in the community planning of urban gardens, we will be able to increase their food security. This type of integration requires children to be involved in the creation and recreation of the garden’s physical and social environment, which can be done using Universal Design (inclusive design that increases a space's usability for the widest range of people possible) and Participatory Placemaking (the social and material process of recreating space). Literary analysis is used to develop a conceptual framework for Universal Design, Participatory Placemaking, and youth participation in community planning. Participation action research, which is based on visual survey results from a local garden program at the Boys & Girls Club (BGC), is used to understand how these concepts currently exist in Brazos Valley. Overall, this research will address how children can be integrated as active and legitimate participants in urban gardens and other community spaces.
Lu, Grace Ann (2020). Community Planning in Urban Gardens: Integrating Children as Participants in the Local Food System. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from