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Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030801

Urban Gardening in Germany: Cultivating a Sustainable Lifestyle for the Societal Transition to a Bioeconomy

Department of Biobased Products and Energy Crops (340b), Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstrasse 23, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
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Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 3 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Agriculture)
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Abstract

Urban gardening has the potential to turn the growing number of consumers into conscious producers by raising awareness of natural resource cycles, contributing to environmental conservation and climate change mitigation. This study investigated the motivations for urban gardening in Germany, based on an extensive review of 657 urban gardening project websites. The subsequent online survey of 380 project participants provides a characterization of the gardeners, giving insight into both cultivation methods and technologies used and the participants’ consumer behavior. It was shown that urban gardening has an influence on consumer behavior and can induce a change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The gardens provide a space for the exchange of social values, knowledge and ideas on different ways of life among the diverse participants. Hence, urban gardening creates far more than just food; it influences society on multiple levels. Urban gardening can support the bottom-up societal transition towards a bioeconomy as both have common attributes. Finally, the paper proposes an innovative, resource-efficient cultivation system that may attract further societal groups to the urban gardening lifestyle, with the aim of fostering the development of the bioeconomy. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban gardening; survey; motivations; characterization; cultivation methods; terrabioponics; transformative group; societal transition; bioeconomy urban gardening; survey; motivations; characterization; cultivation methods; terrabioponics; transformative group; societal transition; bioeconomy
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Winkler, B.; Maier, A.; Lewandowski, I. Urban Gardening in Germany: Cultivating a Sustainable Lifestyle for the Societal Transition to a Bioeconomy. Sustainability 2019, 11, 801.

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