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Community gardens and the 15-minute city: Scenario analysis of garden access in New York City

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Full Publication Date
October 19, 2023

Community gardens are a form of green infrastructure that provides social and environmental benefits for garden users and the surrounding area. However, little is known about who has walking access to community gardens in most cities today and how this may change in the future. To address this gap, we examine 15-minute walking access to community gardens in New York City (NYC), and how land-use and investment decisions will impact the future of NYC as a 15-minute garden city. Our results indicate that more than half of the city’s residents have this access to a community garden, and that neighborhoods with lower income, lower proportions of white residents and homeowners, and higher rates of educational attainment have better access. Optimization modeling indicates that universal 15-minute access is unlikely, though more than 70% of NYC residents could have walking access with as few as 50 additional community gardens. Supporting new community gardens on vacant land and parking lots is the most efficient way to expand access, though siting community gardens on a range of land use types is required to maximize access. By mapping community gardens, analyzing their distribution, and modeling how to scale-up urban agriculture, this paper presents a scenario-based process for exploring how and where to expand urban amenities.

Nevin Cohen
Research Areas
Urban Systems and Built Environment
Publication Type
Journal Article
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Full Citation

Samuel Limerick, Jason K. Hawes, Dimitrios Gounaridis, Nevin Cohen, Joshua P. Newell, Community gardens and the 15-minute city: Scenario analysis of garden access in New York City, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 89, 2023, 128107, ISSN 1618-8667. CSS23-28