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Asked a question 11 months ago

Hello. Does anyone here have any good links to resources that deal with the benefits of urban gardens, not so much health benefits (that's easy to find) but economic benefits, particularly when you put in a lot. looking for case studies where urban gardens have increased tourism, or created economic opportunities for people in whose neighborhoods they were planted.

Where am I?

In Strong Towns you can ask and answer questions and share your experience with others!

Lots of this going on in the Detroit area.  In addition to agricultural, there are rain gardens for storm water management combined with native plant gardens to help with the birds and the bees.


I have a friend that ran a charitable Gleaning Garden for the community and now works for the County Soil and Water Department. He will call me tomorrow so we can catch up. I'd be glad to inquire for you if you would like.

Vox had an article I read a while back about the benefits and a study/paper done years ago. It essentially said that there isn’t huge benefits. I believe that you have to separate “community gardens” where everyone eats free from the idea that you can grow and sell the produce for economic development. There is a place for free “community gardens”, but to make an economic impact, i believe you need to have a method to capitalize on the produce grown. We’ve been fortunate enough to have found a location in the neighborhood where we couple the produce we grow with other vendors to create a small mercado (market) on Saturdays. This has led to new “tourism” from people that would normally pass through the neighborhood without stopping to getting them to spend money on goods produced/grown by locals.


Ignore the self promotion, sharing this article because it highlights the idea that we have our produce as well as other vendors that now have an opportunity to make money due to the changes we are making in our neighborhood.


Here is a link to LID lifecycle costs for demonstration sites in Toronto, ON-

However, it appears that you are looking more specifically for LID creating green jobs and tourism. Here are a few links to green job initiatives:


Tourism is a tricky one....our members occasionally host rain garden and Depave Paradise tours (www.depaveparadise.org47)- but they are really a niche market- and I am not sure you could call them tourism related (more educational).

Hope this is helpful.

Andrew Clum
Assoc. AIA, Urban3 Analyst

Curtis Stone has a great How-To blog and vlog. Less focused on community benefits than specific case studies might be, but a very deep resource from someone who's actually farming, and not just a talking head.


Hey Salvador, great question. As you have time, check out this article from Strong Towns about the case for community gardens. It explains several of the benefits from creating community gardens, including increased property values, and enhanced security and safety:

I've also emailed this link Scott Jenkins, the author of the article linked above, in case he has additional insights for you.