Planning the seeds of university community gardens: leadership and management techniques for 'living laboratories' of sustainable campus and community development

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Short, Aaron
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This practicum analyzes the leadership, management practices, and organizational structure of five university gardening organizations, to determine if they have had an impact on the spaces of agricultural production in the cities in which they exist. The research concludes that if university gardens/farms are to become successful demonstration projects within their cities they must: 1) have strong, collaborative, and flexible leadership structures; 2) effectively communicate with stakeholders; 3) generate consistent funding; 4) demonstrate their success on campus and within their communities; 5) create linkages with academic and community organizations; 6) create goals and objectives that overlap with university and municipal strategic plans. Furthermore, this study illustrates that university gardens/farms are important to planners as ‘living laboratories’ of urban food production; as well as educational tools that build the capacity of residents to grow local food, and understand the importance of agricultural urbanism (AU) for city planning and design.
University Community Gardens/Farms, Sustainable Campus Design, Community Development, Agricultural Urbanism, Food Systems Planning, Urban Food Security