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Part of the book series: Urban Agriculture ((URBA))

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This chapter explores the potential and accomplished social effects of UA in Sofia, focusing on social cohesion and inclusion through urban agriculture practices (Sect. 4.1), the educational effects of urban agriculture (Sect. 4.2) and urban agriculture and sustainable consumption patterns (Sect. 4.3).

The analysis from the qualitative and quantitative study point to the conclusion that the respondents with the highest level of social contact in their daily living environment represent the highest share of practitioners with social motivations to practice UA and there is no substantial evidence for social inclusion that came as a result from UA activities. The educational effects of urban farming are considered as the single most valuable contribution to society that urban agriculture can have. It is a commonly shared belief that if young people know more about food and how it is produced, they would develop more responsible consumption patterns, and pro-environmental behaviour, and will make healthier food choices. Based on the interviews conducted, several patterns of sustainable consumption were derived.

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  1. 1.

    The questions we posed in the survey regarding physical and mental health were “Do you feel healthier and more refreshed after your gardening activities?” and “Do you usually feel better mentally and psychologically after your gardening activities?”

  2. 2.

    Names of interviewees and participants in the focus groups are changed.

  3. 3.

    A relish, traditionally made as preserve for winter, made mainly of tomatoes and red peppers.

  4. 4.

    BGN 140 which is equal to about EUR 70 and is completely insufficient to cover basic daily expenses in Bulgaria where the poverty line for 2018 when the interview was taken, was BGN 351. For 2018, 22% of Bulgaria’s population lived under the poverty line.

  5. 5.

    No interviews were organized with the users of the solidarity kitchen as methodologically it would have taken too much time to establish trust and rapport with them.

  6. 6.

    The sum of the shares of different answers is over 100, as respondents gave more than one answer.

  7. 7.

    The share of respondents who are completely satisfied with them is lower than the share of those with lower satisfaction.

  8. 8.

    Total dissatisfaction outweighs partial and full satisfaction with these indicators.

  9. 9.

    The training and experimental field station of the University of Forestry – Sofia and the University Botanical Garden Sofia at Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”.

  10. 10.

    One of the most popular milk chocolate brands in Bulgaria has a purple cow as its symbol.

  11. 11.

    This refers to the widespread practice in the past more than 20 years of dairy products with vegetable fats being sold on the Bulgarian market in order to reduce production cost and achieve more competitive prices, which, however, affects the quality of products, misleads consumers and in some cases has negative consequences for their health. In the past 2 or 3 years, the Bulgarian state has relatively successfully opposed this practice by forcing producers to offer such products on special stands, separate from dairy products, to label them with special tags and impose severe sanctions for non-compliance with these requirements.


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Pickard, D., Draganova, M., Nakova, A., Chengelova, E. (2022). Social Dimensions. In: Pickard, D. (eds) Urban Agriculture for Improving the Quality of Life. Urban Agriculture. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-94742-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-94743-9

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)

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