Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2014


John Van Buren


Urban gardening has become a very popular trend in the last few years in both affluent neighborhoods as a form of relaxation and in impoverished areas as a form of hunger relief. In impoverished areas, urban gardens are usually exclusively advertised as a solution to limited food access; however, there is a naïve belief that these gardens are effective forms of mass food production. Presently, these gardens are not productive enough to globally effect food production and the environment. However, to the communities surrounding the gardens, the effects are immense. Urban gardens are cheap and effective solutions for many of the problems associated with poverty and food deserts. Some of the issues I will address are: obesity, education, social interactions, income supplementation, health issues, dangerous neighborhoods, and refugee assimilation.

The overall approach will be based on public health and the health of the community. I will address the physical and psychological effects of urban gardens, but I will also touch upon the effects on the ecology and psychology of the neighborhood, urban and suburban planning and its accompanying laws, environmental psychology, and environmental education. I will initially detail some of the consequences associated with living in an impoverished area. I will use the various research and case studies performed, as well as some of my own observations working in these areas. I will then compile the individual research of various solutions to food deserts and assemble them into an analysis of the overall beneficial effects of urban gardens.