Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe

1st Edition

Edited by Simon Bell, Runrid Fox-Kämper, Nazila Keshavarz, Mary Benson, Silvio Caputo, Susan Noori, Annette Voigt


384 pages | 100 B/W Illus.

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Although urban allotment gardening dates back to the nineteenth century, it has recently undergone a renaissance of interest and popularity. This is the result of greater concern over urban greenspace, food security and quality of life. This book presents a comprehensive, research-based overview of the various features, benefits and values associated with urban allotment gardening in Europe.

The book is based on a European COST Action project, which brings together researchers and practitioners from all over Europe for the first detailed exploration of the subject on a continent-wide scale. It assesses the policy, planning and design aspects, as well as the social and ecological benefits of urban allotment gardening. Through an examination of the wide range of different traditions and practices across Europe, it brings together the most recent research to discuss the latest evolutions of urban allotment gardening and to help raise awareness and fill knowledge gaps.

The book provides a multidisciplinary perspective, including insights from horticulture and soil science, ecology, sociology, urban geography, landscape, planning and design. The themes are underpinned by case studies from a number of European countries which supply a wide range of examples to illustrate different key issues.

Table of Contents


Maluo Weirich, General Secretary of the Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux


David Crouch


Simon Bell

1. A History of Urban Gardens in Europe

Nazila Keshavarz and Simon Bell

Part 1: Urban Allotment Gardens in the European Political, Planning and Legal Sphere

2. The Idea of Allotment Gardens and the Role of Spatial and Urban Planning

Matthias Drilling, Renata Giedych, Lidia Poniży

3. Grassroots Gardening Movements: Towards Cooperative Forms of Green Urban Development?

Byron Ioannou, Nerea Morán, Martin Sondermann, Chiara Certomà and Michael Hardman

4. Political-Economic Urban Restructuring: Urban Allotment Gardens in the Entrepreneurial City

Efrat Eizenberg, Simone Tappert, Nicola Thomas and Andis Zilans

Part 2: The Ecology of Urban Allotment Gardens

5. Ecosystem Services from Urban Gardens

Andrew S. Hursthouse, Teresa E. Leitão, Annette Voigt, Avigail Heller, Béatrice Bechet and Paulo Brito da Luz

6. Environmental Pressures on and the Status of Urban Allotments

Andrew S. Hursthouse and Teresa E. Leitão

7. Lessons Learned: Indicators and Good Practice for an Environmentally Friendly Urban Garden

Annette Voigt, Teresa E. Leitão, Andrew S. Hursthouse, Ari Jokinen, Avigail Heller, Monika Latkowska, Paulo Brito da Luz, Yvonne Christ, Béatrice Béchet, Mart Külvik and Johannes Langemeyer

Part 3: Spatial Design Aspects of Urban Allotment Gardens

8. The Position of Urban Allotment Gardens within the Urban Fabric

Sandra Costa, Runrid Fox-Kämper, Russell Good and Ivana Sentić

9. Emergent Approaches to Urban Gardening

Silvio Caputo, Eva Schwab and Kostas Tsiambaos

10. Allotment Gardens as a Challenge for an Urban Designer

Antoine Zammit and Ina Suklje-Erjavec

Part 4: The Social Sphere of Urban Allotment Gardens

11. Urban Allotment Garden: A Case for Place-Making

Susan Noori and Mary Benson

12. Motivations behind Urban Gardening: "Here I Feel Alive"

Laura Calvet-Mir, Hug March, Helena Nordh, Jeanne Pourias and Barbora Čakovská

13. Urban Allotment Gardens Built for and by Means of Trust

Tim Delshammar, Maria Partalidou and Rhys Evans

Concluding Remarks

Runrid Fox-Kämper

About the Editors

Simon Bell is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia, and Director of the OPENspace Research Centre, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Runrid Fox-Kämper is an architect and Head of the research group 'Built Environment' at the ILS Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Aachen, Germany, and Chair of COST Action TU1201 Urban Allotment Gardens in European Cities.

Nazila Keshavarz is a landscape architect and a research fellow at ILS Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Aachen, Germany.

Mary Benson is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Silvio Caputo is Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, University of Portsmouth, UK.

Susan Noori is a social research consultant and an affiliated researcher with Birmingham School of Architecture, Birmingham City University, UK.

Annette Voigt is Visiting Professor in the Department of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology