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Article

The Rich Diversity of Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe: Contemporary Trends in the Context of Historical, Socio-Economic and Legal Conditions

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Department of Integrated Geography, Faculty of Human Geography and Planning, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznan, Poland
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Faculty of Biology, Botanical Garden of Warsaw University, 00-478 Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Geography and Geology, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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Institute of Biomedical & Environmental Health Research, School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
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UMR EcoSys, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
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Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
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LNEC—National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, 1700-066 Lisbon, Portugal
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Department of Architecture, Urban and Landscape Planning, University of Kassel, 34137 Kassel, Germany
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Department of Agriculture and Rural Geography, Faculty of Human Geography and Planning, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznan, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Panayiotis Dimitrakopoulos
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 11076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911076
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 30 September 2021 / Accepted: 30 September 2021 / Published: 7 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying Landscape for Sustainable Land Use Planning)
Urban allotment gardens (AGs) provide a unique combination of productive and recreational spaces for the inhabitants of European cities. Although the reasons behind the decision to have a plot, as well as the mode of use and gardening practices, are well recognised in the literature, these issues are mainly considered in relation to particular case studies within a single country. The regional diversity of European allotment gardens is still poorly understood, however. This knowledge gap became an incentive for us to carry out the present study. The research was conducted in seven countries: Austria, Estonia, Germany, France, Portugal, Poland and the UK. Surveys were used to assess the motivations of users regarding plot uses and gardening practices. Information was also collected during desk research and study visits, making use of available statistical data. Allotment gardens in Europe are currently very diverse, and vary depending on the historical, legal, economic and social conditions of a given country, and also as determined by geographical location. Three main types of plots were distinguished, for: cultivation, recreation–cultivation, and cultivation–recreation. The recreational use of AGs has replaced their use for food production in countries with a long history of urban gardening. The only exception is the UK. In some countries, the production of food on an AG plot is still its main function; however, the motivations for this are related to better quality and taste (the UK), as well as the economic benefits of self-grown fruits and vegetables (Portugal, Estonia). Among the wide range of motivations for urban gardening in Europe, there is increasing emphasis on active recreation, contact with nature and quality food supply. View Full-Text
Keywords: allotment gardening; functions of allotment gardens; plot holders; use of plot; food production allotment gardening; functions of allotment gardens; plot holders; use of plot; food production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Poniży, L.; Latkowska, M.J.; Breuste, J.; Hursthouse, A.; Joimel, S.; Külvik, M.; Leitão, T.E.; Mizgajski, A.; Voigt, A.; Kacprzak, E.; Maćkiewicz, B.; Szczepańska, M. The Rich Diversity of Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe: Contemporary Trends in the Context of Historical, Socio-Economic and Legal Conditions. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11076. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911076

AMA Style

Poniży L, Latkowska MJ, Breuste J, Hursthouse A, Joimel S, Külvik M, Leitão TE, Mizgajski A, Voigt A, Kacprzak E, Maćkiewicz B, Szczepańska M. The Rich Diversity of Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe: Contemporary Trends in the Context of Historical, Socio-Economic and Legal Conditions. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):11076. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911076

Chicago/Turabian Style

Poniży, Lidia, Monika J. Latkowska, Jürgen Breuste, Andrew Hursthouse, Sophie Joimel, Mart Külvik, Teresa E. Leitão, Andrzej Mizgajski, Annette Voigt, Ewa Kacprzak, Barbara Maćkiewicz, and Magdalena Szczepańska. 2021. "The Rich Diversity of Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe: Contemporary Trends in the Context of Historical, Socio-Economic and Legal Conditions" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 11076. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911076

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