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Community Gardening: Integrating Social Responsibility and Sustainability in a Higher Education Setting—A Case Study from Australia

  • Johannes M. LuetzEmail author
  • Stephen Beaumont
Chapter
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)

Abstract

Community gardening (CG) has been the subject of growing interest, both within and without the realm of academia. The reasons for this increase in interest are straightforward, given that CG typically offers benefits in at least three areas: (1) fostering a sense of community among contributing stakeholders; (2) promoting a sense of social responsibility; and (3) heightening awareness in areas of sustainability. As such CG is typically recognised as having the capacity to conjointly meet core human needs. This paper presents a case study that describes the inception and progressive implementation of a community garden project (“campus greening”), set within the university context of a private higher education (HE) provider in Brisbane, Australia. The paper charts progress made to date, highlights hurdles that have had to be overcome, distils relevant lessons learned, and extrapolates success factors for future similar projects. Capitalising on ‘right timing’ emerges as a critical success factor for incentivising, progressing and implementing CG projects. The case study analysis also culminates in a shortlist of tentative recommendations for different stakeholders: (1) soliciting input from alternative leaders; (2) building supportive interdepartmental coalitions; (3) building a broad stakeholder base; and (4) building momentum and support through unconventional means. Experiences and lessons gathered in this paper will be useful for education stakeholders who are interested to use CG to promote community, social responsibility, and sustainability.

Keywords

Community gardening Higher education Social responsibility Sustainability Sustainable development 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Paul Willis for his enthusiastic support of the community garden, Kyano Maddock for his practical logistical help with successive ‘secretive’ seed pack and invitation letter distributions, Noah, Daniel and Aurora Lütz Barrón, and Leila Margus, for their creative invitation letter artwork and design, Kirsty Andersen for her copy-editorial support, Stephen Jones and Jesse Keech for their volunteering spirit during ‘working bees’, and the School of Social Sciences for the constructive input and enduring support throughout the community garden design phase.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CHC Higher EducationBrisbane, CarindaleAustralia
  2. 2.University of New South Wales (UNSW)SydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Social SciencesCHC Higher EducationBrisbane, CarindaleAustralia

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