A case study: Advancing public health through gardens for healthy communities (GHC) in New York city: The role of anti-obesity objectives in urban agriculture policy

Yolanda Gonzalez, Matthew Potteiger, Anne Bellows, Evan Weissman, Carolin Mees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This case study explores the effectiveness of the urban gardening program Gardens for Healthy Communities (GHC) as a public health strategy intended to reverse obesity trends in New York City. The GHC program originated from the Obesity Task Force, a multi-agency work group commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 charged with identifying innovative policies to prevent as well as reduce obesity. 18 in-depth interviews with garden advocates and GHC garden members (7 and 11 interviews respectively) reveal that the driving motivation for participating in the selected GHC gardens was less about obesity, specifically, and more about the public health and community development benefits including: a meeting place for civic engagement and environmental awareness, a space for community and health-oriented partnership, and a social bridge to build community cohesion. Through the community right to public space and gardens, the GHC gardens reveal the power of engaging anti-obesity objectives in driving community development and urban agriculture forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSowing Seeds in the City
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Dimensions
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages107-118
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789401774567
ISBN (Print)9789401774543
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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