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Let's talk about Better Gardens

English title Let's talk about Better Gardens
Applicant Stolze Mathias
Number 191645
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau Department of Soil Sciences Research Institute of Organic Agriculture
Institution of higher education Research Institute of Organic Agriculture - FiBL
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.04.2020 - 31.12.2022
Approved amount 199'520.00
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All Disciplines (2)


Keywords (6)

Urban greenspaces; Biodiversity; Soil quality; Urban Ecology; Human/nature interactions; Health and Wellbeing

Lay Summary (German)

Gärten in Städten bieten eine höhere Lebensqualität für die Bewohner sowie wichtige Lebensräume für Fauna und Flora. Private Gärtner und Stadtverwaltungen sollen durch die Zusammenarbeit mit Forschern mehr über das Potenzial und die Funktion von privaten und öffentlichen Gärten lernen, um dadurch die biologische Vielfalt in den Städten zu fördern. Dabei baut das Kommunikationsprojekt auf den Erkenntnissen aus dem Forschungsprojekt "Better Gardens" auf.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Projektes

Das Kommunikationsprojekt "Let's talk about Better Gardens" verfolgt zwei Hauptziele.

  1. Die Sensibilisierung von Stadtbewohnern und Stadtverwaltungen für die Bedeutung von privaten und öffentlichen Gärten für die Artenvielfalt und Lebensqualität in Städten.
  2. Gärtner zu befähigen, durch die Umsetzung einfacher Massnahmen die Biodiversität in den Quartieren zu verbessern und gleichzeitig die Bedürfnisse der Menschen zu erfüllen.

Die zentrale Botschaft des Projektes ist, dass in den Städten mehr Biodiversität mit einfachen Mitteln möglich ist, alle dazu beitragen können und dies die Lebensqualität für die Bewohner erhöht.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Das Forschungsprojekt "Better Gardens", das im Rahmen des SNF-Programms Sinergia durchgeführt wurde, untersuchte die Beziehungen zwischen der Politik und der Bewirtschaftung von Gärten sowie die Auswirkungen von Bewirtschaftungspraktiken auf den sozialen Wert, die biologische Vielfalt und die Bodenqualität von Gärten. Die Untersuchungen lieferten eine Fülle von Informationen wie Gärten so gestaltet und bewirtschaftet werden können, dass sie die biologische Vielfalt fördern und gleichzeitig für die Erholung und das Wohlbefinden der Bewohner erhöhen. Viele Gärtner möchten gerne mit den Stadtverwaltungen zusammenarbeiten, um zur Förderung der städtischen Biodiversität beizutragen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 26.02.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
154416 Strategies for Better Gardens: integrated analysis of soil quality, biodiversity and social value of urban gardens 01.01.2015 Sinergia


Swiss cities are becoming denser and green spaces are attractive targets for development, so many urban green spaces are under threat. The SNF Sinergia research project: “Better Gardens” examined the social, ecological and soil sustainability impacts of the cultivation of urban allotment and household gardens under various management concepts in Swiss cities along with the policy-driven and intrinsic motivations of gardeners to adopt particular production concepts in their gardens. In the course of the project, the Better Gardens team used innovative research methods to collate what we believe is the World’s most comprehensive set of data on urban biodiversity and its relationship with garden practice. “Better Gardens” found evidence of high degrees of interest in urban biodiversity, which suggests that many gardeners would be willing to participate in biodiversity promotion efforts. These results suggest that cities might also consider privately managed gardens as a resource to be included in their biodiversity, yet privately managed gardens are still usually left out of biodiversity strategies because of the limited power of influence held by city administrations. In general, gardens with appropriate management were capable of supporting a large diversity of plants and animals, which was supported by healthy soil quality with high soil biodiversity and which led to gardener wellbeing. However, many gardeners are largely unaware of the consequences of their gardening decisions and lack the ability to access the correct information from among the flood of information available. Gardeners can hardly be expected to access and read the 15 scientific publications or 17 publications in professional journals that resulted from “Better Gardens”.The aim of this communication project is twofold. Firstly, we aim to communicate science-based knowledge from the Better Gardens project to gardeners in a way that can easily be taken up and implemented in their daily decisions. Secondly, we aim to gain feedback from gardeners about their preferred means of learning and which results are most relevant to them. Addressing these goals will combine to enable the creation of a toolbox that empowers cities and neighbourhood organisations to deliver optimal knowledge to gardeners in the optimal way. To achieve these goals, we apply a workshop-based methodology that is guided by the social learning approach, which gives legitimacy, inclusion, and sustainability in a process in which knowledge, skills, and experience are exchanged and built through interactions. We propose a hearing phase in which we will meet with representatives from target cities (probably Bern, Lausanne, and Zurich) and negotiate agreements on cooperation. In the second phase, we will implement nine knowledge exchange workshops with gardeners and city representatives. The third phase involves bringing the workshop interactions back to the “Better Gardens” scientists so that dissemination materials can be prepared. The final phase is to prepare a toolbox to enable the multiplication and transfer of project results and experiences in other Swiss cities. In this way, we can maximise the transfer of our key message, which is: More biodiversity in the neighbourhoods is possible with simple means and is good for everyone. Everyone can make a contribution.