Abigayle Smith


Presentation: 3:00-4:15 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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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 that could be included in the community garden to maximize use of the space and stakeholder engagement. To best understand community opinions, we utilized a creative qualitative research method combining photovoice and interviews/focus groups. The photovoice will be the primary discussion of the presentation as the interviews and focus groups are ongoing. Preliminary findings indicate the importance of designing a garden for multigenerational and diverse stakeholder uses, and highlight the memories, experiences, and expectations that attract stakeholders to community gardens. The findings also outline 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 to be established to build a sense of community, social cohesion, and attachment around a community garden.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Felix Fernando

Primary Advisor's Department

Hanley Sustainability Institute


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Community; Practical Wisdom; Scholarship

Garnering Stakeholder Perceptions of Urban Community Garden Features Through the Utilization of Photovoice Research