Growing Resilient Cities
Urban Community Gardens and Disaster Recovery after the 2010/11 Canterbury/Christchurch Earthquakes
The study explores the role and value of urban community gardens following a major crisis: the 2010/11 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. It focuses on interview data regarding benefits of community gardens as experienced by key informants from eight community gardens in post-earthquake Christchurch. The findings reflect the role of community gardens as sanctuaries, places for social exchange, post-disaster therapeutic, and sources of food and learning following an earthquake. The often latent and subtle power of continuous activities and social interaction make community gardens a valuable source of community resilience when a disaster strikes. With regard to urban resilience, the study regards community gardens as »silent systems« that work in the background and get activated through subtle processes when a disaster strikes. As relevant lifesaving systems following disasters, urban community gardens need care and support like any other system, particularly in the form of funding, long-term tenure security, and protective urban planning policies.