Dr. Felix Fernando is a Sustainability Professor and a Coordinator of the Sustainability Graduate Certificate. Dr. Fernando has spearheaded this project and served as my research advisor.

Dr. Zachary Piso is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Rivers Institute, and Director of Facilitating Impactful Research. As such, Dr. Piso took on a passive role as research advisor on this project.

The Omega Community Development Corporation was instrumental in the planning and identification of participants for research.



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The presentation discusses the study currently being conducted on stakeholder perceptions and attitudes towards greenspaces. This is completed through the identification of different uses and features to maximize use of the space and stakeholder engagement in the community garden. To better understand stakeholder opinions, we utilized a creative qualitative research method combining photovoice and interviews/focus groups. We conducted eight in-depth semi-structured interviews and four focus groups. Multiple interviewees agreed that the Dayton View Triangle lacks access to a green space. Most believed that a garden would offer social cohesion. Understandably, most participants were concerned about who would manage the garden after it is constructed, however, they believed that a garden club run by a number of passionate residents could offer a solution.

Photovoice was an integral method to this project; pictureboards were posted in areas where stakeholder groups would interact with them. They were prompted to place stickers on features they wanted to be prioritized. This method emphasized multigenerational design that accounts for diverse stakeholder uses, and highlights the memories, experiences, and expectations that attract stakeholders to community gardens. The findings also outlined the importance of co-creating the design of a community garden to ensure long-term sustainability.

Previous research shows that community gardens are a popular tool to address neighborhood revitalization, local food, and social cohesion; critical gaps exist in the body of literature. This long-term project aims to address three such gaps in research. First, very few studies have focused on community gardens in minority and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Our research is located in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood, which is 67% African American with a median household income of 35k. Second, previous research largely explores stakeholder perceptions toward established community gardens rather than their perceptions during the planning and design of a community garden. Third, very few studies have examined community-based governance/organizational structures that can ensure long-term sustainability. The research currently being conducted is aimed to help to understand the desired features and necessary mechanisms that need t be established to build a sense of community, social cohesion, and attachment around a community garden.

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Green space, community garden, perception of garden features, Dayton, Ohio, semi-structured interviews, in-depth interviews, semi-structured focus groups, photovoice


Environmental Design | Environmental Studies | Landscape Architecture | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Garden Features