Visit our RECIPE website

Sign In

Theses, papers, and reports

…related to community gardens


Urban agriculture as a nature-based solution to address social-ecological challenges in Australian cities
by Dr Jonathan Kingsley 2021

Australia is currently grappling with a range of social and environmental challenges, many of which impact the way our public health system, and society more broadly, function. 

In this short communication paper, we explore urban agriculture in Australia as a Nature-Based Solution (NBS) to address some of the ecological, social, economic, and health challenges facing the continent. We argue that urban agriculture has the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change extremes while simultaneously providing multiple benefits such as improving wellbeing, people-nature connections, and food security. 

We present three exemplar case studies diverse in geography, context, and governance from Queensland, Tasmania, and New South Wales exploring verge gardening, market gardening, and a community greening program respectively to highlight the benefits of urban agriculture as an NBS. 

We advocate that various forms of urban agriculture need to be researched and considered for their potential impacts and multiple benefits to be fully supported, governed, and understood in light of the social-ecological challenges Australian cities face.


To investigate the potential of community food forests and orchards
by Gavin Hardy, 2020

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report — community-based food forests (assemblies of food producing trees, shrubs, ground-covers and vines that mimic natural forests) and orchards (large and orderly groves of fruit and nut trees only) are novel public green space initiatives. They complement modern urban life providing multiple social, environmental and health benefits to the community. While virtually unknown in Australia, ground breaking programs and projects overseas have emerged over the last two decades. Gavin’s Churchill Fellowship project report documents the processes, designs and operations of some of the world’s exemplars.

Over nine weeks from August to October 2022, Gavin travelled in the northern hemisphere to investigate the potential of community food forests and orchards, and how they can be applied and delivered here in Australia.

To investigate urban farm ventures that provide vocational pathways for aspiring food growers
by Fiona Buining, 2020

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report investigating successful urban farms, farm incubators and training programs to analyse which urban farm training models would be successful in Australian communities.


To study peak community garden bodies to continue the development of our national organisation
by Naomi Lacey 2019

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report — the aim of this project is to visit international community gardening organisations to build an understanding of successful and sustainable approaches that will enable us to create a stronger community garden network across Australia.

Community Gardens as Third Places
by Joanne Dolley, September 2019

A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Queensland.


Urban Food Gardeners in the City of Brisbane
by Sari Joanne Mangru, 2015

A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Philosophy, School of Social Science, University of Queensland.

A reflexive discourse of the local place: urban food gardeners in the City of Brisbane, Australia.

Growing Food in the City
by Peter Lyle, June 2015

A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology.


A study of innovative models of urban agriculture
by Dr Nicholas Rose, 2013

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report on the study of innovative models of urban agriculture in US, Midwest, Toronto and Argentina.


Community Gardening Research Bibliography
by claire nettle, August 2010

Community Gardening: An Annotated Bibliography includes brief descriptions of guidebooks and manuals, books, Doctoral, Honours and Master’s theses, articles in academic and professional journals, and a number of other research-based documents, such as project evaluations and submissions.

In addition, there are brief introductions to sources on key areas that provide additional context and evidence for community gardening: therapeutic horticulture, urban and civic agriculture, food security, organics and permaculture.

The emphasis in this publication is on furthering the understanding of community gardening in Australia. Hence we have attempted to be exhaustive in our inclusion of Australian sources. Community Gardening: An Annotated Bibliography also includes many sources from and about North America and Britain. It doesn’t include all published research about British allotments, though it does include a number of articles that raise issues relevant to Australia. The substantial literature on gardening in schools is also omitted, but will hopefully be covered in a future publication.

Community Gardening as Social Action
by claire nettle, December 2010

A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of History and Politics, University of Adelaide.

Community Garden Conference proceedings
University of Canberra, 7-8 October 2010

Keynote addresses from Costa Georgiadis, Myles Bremner, Andre Leu, Senator Christine Milne, Neil Savery, Keith Colls.

Papers by Such Sharman, Ashlea Joy Hunter & Ruth Beilin, Andrew MacKenzie & Karen Warnes, claire nettle, Bethany Turner, Anna Evers, David Pearson & Kai Hodgkin, Joanna Henryks, Jenny Cameron + Craig Mango + Jamie Pomfrett, Leigh Davison, Chris Firth & David Pearson.

Non-refereed papers by Russ Grayson, Gardy Cachia + Benjamin Chahola + Rosemary Meale + Daniel Zu.

The role of community gardens in urban agriculture
by David Pearson & Kai Hodgkin, 2010

Paper presented at the Community Gardens Conference: Promotiong sustainability, health and inclusion in the city, at the University of Canberra 7-8 October 2010.


Community Gardens: a place for cultivating social and community development
by George Mobayed, October 2009

An undergraduate thesis as part of a Bachelor of Planning, University of NSW.


Urban Planning for Community Gardens
by Elise Harris, donors thesis as part of Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning, University of South Australia, October 2008.

Community gardens have been shown to have positive social, nutritional and educational benefits for their users, and improve the amenity, m safety and patronage of the surrounding area. They also tie into wider themes of sustainability and food security. Despite these benefits, urban planners, as the keepers of land and determiners of land use, have had little to do with community gardens. This thesis will explain the benefits of community garden and detail planning policies throughout the world that support community gardens. Lastly, recommendations will be made on how the South Australian planning system can better support community gardens.


To identify how sustainable urban agriculture can benefit the quality of life of Australian urban communities
by David Mason, 2006

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report.


Urban agriculture and food security — community garden and community markets
by Peta Christensen, 2004

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia report — explores overseas developments in urban agriculture and food security focussing on community garden projects and community markets in low income communities.


A Bountiful Harvest: community gardens and neighbourhood renewal in Waterloo
by Linda Bartolomei, Linda Corkery, Bruce Judd, Susan Thompson, October 2003

This report details interdisciplinary research funded by the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of NSW examining the Community gardens on Sydney’s Waterloo Public Housing Estate. The central aim of the research was to understand the role of community gardens inn fostering community development and neighbourhood improvement in a public housing context.


Gardening in the Street: Sociality, Production and Consumption in Northey Street City Farm
by Emanuele John Gelsi, March 1999

A thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Social Planning and Development in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Queensland.

This thesis explores the links between consump[tion and sociality within the temporal and spatial context of Northey Street City Farm, a Brisbane community garden.

Sustainability as seen from a Vegetable Garden
by Louise A. Crabtree, thesis for Bachelor of Science with Honours, Macquarie University, NSW, November 1999.


Community Gardens: places for food production, places for people
by Neal Bodel and Martin Anda

Paper presented at the International Permaculture Convergence, 1996. Outlines some of WA gardens.


A Pattern Language for Community Gardens
by Andrew Walter, BA Grinnell College, 1994.

This thesis examines seven community gardens in the south-eastern United States to determine if there are certain physical and aesthetic aspects or community garden that help create a sense of community. After a description of the seven gardens, common themes found within the gardens are identified. Theses themes are used for the creation of a series of design vignettes or ‘patterns’, that reflect the vernacular design tradition in south-eastern community gardens.


Making the Most of Agriculture — City Farms and Park
by John S. Bacon, September 1986

A report following a study tour of New Zealand, England and the Netherlands in May and June, 1986 paid for by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × one =