Urban community gardening, social capital, and "integration" - a mixed method exploration of urban "integration-gardening" in Copenhagen, Denmark

Søren Christensen, Pernille Malberg Dyg, Kurt Allenberg

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This study examines a community garden in Copenhagen, Denmark, "The Urban Integration Gardens" that endeavours to strengthen social integration in the local multicultural neighbourhood. The "community" in the gardens is explored, with a focus on how they foster social capital, particularly opportunities for "bridging" social capital. A mixed- methods approach is used, by employing a qualitative analysis of gardeners’ perceptions of "community", diversity and inclusivity, through the lens of "cognitive" social capital, and the meanings the gardeners assign to their experiences, and how they understand their involvement in the gardens. We also examine "structural" dimensions of social capital, involving quantitative data from a questionnaire and data from Statistics Denmark, comparing data concerning socio-demographic backgrounds from gardeners and residents in the local neighbourhood and Copenhagen. Major findings include that the garden generates both bonding and bridging "cognitive" social capital, and the gardeners consistently agreed that the garden has a strong community, and is permeated by diversity and inclusivity. Nonetheless, data from Denmark’s Statistics Office reveal that the garden does not "represent" the diversity in the neighbourhood regarding the distribution of members with a Western/non-Western background, as well as social class. This suggests that endeavours to involve co-citizens with non- Western backgrounds and gardeners with lower social status are restrained by potential structural barriers, which limits the "width" of bridging social capital in the garden.
TidsskriftLocal Environment: The international journal of justice and sustainability
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)231-248
StatusUdgivet - 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa

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