new york city community gardens cultivating local resilience post-sandy

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Post on 21-Aug-2014




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Ever since Superstorm Sandy devastated coastal New York City in 2012, the topic of resilience has been at the forefront of the city's disaster planning and policy response. We recognize community gardens as imbued with meaning and as relevant community spaces that play a role in the resilience and recovery of the community gardeners that use these spaces and the neighborhoods where they are found. Because Sandy was mostly a storm surge event, this project explores the role of community gardens in coastal "red zones" of New York City post-Sandy.


  • JOANA CHAN, BRYCE DUBOIS & KEITH TIDBALL AAG PRESENTATION - APRIL 9, 2014 New York City Community Gardens Cultivating Local Resilience Post-Sandy Photo: Hip Hop Community Garden
  • Community Gardens Photo: Campos Community Garden, Map: Five Borough Farm Community gardens are Spaces where groups of people cultivate edible & ornamental plants Diverse in form & composition Community-driven stewardship NYC Community Gardens Over 600 gardens
  • Community Gardens History Photo by Donald Loggins Poster: National Archives Communal gardens served as buffers during times of crisis (Bassett 1979) a. Great Depression: WPA Garden b. WWII: Victory Gardens c. Urban Decline of 1970s- Community Gardens
  • NYC Hurricane Sandy Photo: Boardwalk Garden (T), Campos Garden (B) Map adapted from Frantz (2012)
  • Research Question What role have community gardens played in the resilience and recovery of New York Citys coastal red zone communities after Hurricane Sandy?
  • Literature Review Social-ecological Resilience Capacity to buffer disturbances, renew & reorganize in response to change (Tidball & Krasny, 2014) Factors for fostering resilience during change (Folke et al. 2002) Learning to live with change & uncertainty Nurturing diversity (biological & cultural) Combining knowledge for learning Creating opportunities for self-organization Civic Ecology Practice o Self-organized stewardship initiatives (Krasny & Tidball, 2012) Post-Disaster Greening o Social mechanisms of adaptation and transformation (Tidball, 2014) o Community gardening provides cognitive, emotional & community benefits (Okvat & Zautra, 2013)
  • Case Study Sites Map adapted from Keefe, Melendez & Ma (2012) 5 Coastal Community Gardens Campos Community Garden (Lower East Side, Manhattan) Boardwalk Community Garden (Coney Island, Brooklyn) Hip Hop Community Garden (Arverne, Queens) Beach 91st Garden (Rockaway Beach, Queens) Smith Brothers Memorial Garden (Rockaway Beach, Queens)
  • Qualitative Methods Photo: Boardwalk Community Garden Data Collection: April 2013- February 2014 Key Informant Interviews o n= 7 (4 women, 3 men) o transcripts Participant Observation o garden visits (2- 4 visits/garden) o field notes & photos Archival Research o documents & websites Data Analysis o thematic analysis
  • Neighborhood Convening Healing Circles Look at the 50 people eating homemade chili over an open fire two days after one of the most devastating hurricanes in the East Coast. ...standing around in our neighborhood when the National Guard can't even get through yet. ...that is the best defense we have against any fear. The best defense we have against looting, rioting, or any other kind of insecurity And that is a direct result of the community garden. You know, being a hub for safety, security. A blanket of support between neighbors. (Gardener, Beach 91st Street Community Garden) Community Gardens as Local Havens Photos: Beach 91st Street Community Garden)
  • Relief Distribution Sites Art & Memorialization Food, clothing, water Solar electricity Community Gardens as Adaptive, Open Community Spaces Photo: Sea-Song Memorial at Hip Hop GardenPhotos: Padre Plaza Garden (T), Solar Sandy Project (B)
  • Greening to Normal Garden Adaptations Community Gardening to Connect & Adapt with Nature Photo: Campos Community Garden(Gardener, B91St Garden) ...the garden has very much been a catharsis for [local residents] and something that they're excited about- it's like some semblance of normalcy back in their lives.
  • Social Connectivity Civic engagement & stewardship Community Gardens as Supportive Communities of Practice Photo: Campos Community GardenScreen capture: Campos Garden Facebook Page
  • Community Gardens as Sources of Local Resilience Post-Sandy Community gardens catalyzing the resilience, recovery, regrowth of individuals , neighborhoods & local SES Shorter-term: transformation, opportunities to empower, assist and reclaim environments, lives, sense of place and meaning Longer-term: adaptation, fostering natural, human, social, etc. capital, social- ecological diversity, learning, support networks Photo: Boardwalk Community Garden
  • Policy Implications SIRR s resilience - managing for status quo No civic stewardship in report Importance of managing for change and flexibility Recognize role of community capacity and environmental stewardship in catalyzing recovery Support emergent community greening practices and spaces to build natural and human/social capital
  • Acknowledgements & More! sky-is-the-limit-for-urban-agriculture-or-is-it-what- can-cities-hope-to-get-from-community-gardens-and- urban-agriculture/ - Community Gardeners from Boardwalk, Campos, Hip Hop, B 91st, Smith Brothers Memorial Gardens - Colleagues at NYC Urban Field Station