By Russ Grayson
I HAVEN'T HEARD IT MENTIONED YET when people comment on the starting of community gardens in their neighbourhood, but I'm sure it is there somewhere unsaid in the background: will a community garden degrade my property value?
There's no research I know of in Australia about this, however an email arrived in my inbox today from Nick Rose of the Local Food Network, a food security education and advocacy organisation in th Coffs Harbour/Bellinen aregion of north coast NSW. It;s an extract from a North American article from the Rodale organic farming advocacy organisation.
Let me quote:
"Cities have a new reason to choose greenery over concrete: Gardens improve property values, which in turn generates increased tax revenues.
"A study recently published in Real Estate Economics looked at housing values in a 1,000-foot ring around new community garden projects.
"In poor neighbourhoods where housing prices were significantly lower than in surrounding vicinities, values increased as much as 9.4 percent over the five-year period following a community garden's opening. Immediate neighbours benefited the most, but even homes 1,000 feet away from the garden gained value.
"The researchers found that gardens had the greatest impact in disadvantaged neighbourhoods far from city parks. No matter where the gardens were located, well-maintained gardens had the most significant financial impacts.