This annotation was created by Maria Frank.  The last update was by Food and Society Workshop.

Field Guides to Food

Social Capital and Community Gardens: A Literature Review (summary & metadata)


This literature review was conducted to help design the Community Garden Social Impact Assessment Toolkit. The toolkit is a participatory evaluation toolkit that community gardens use to assess the impact a community garden has on building social capital. The literature review has two sections. Section I reviews the key pieces of literature that define social capital. The section also reviews the forms, distinctions, and limits of the social capital concept. Section II reviews the most relevant research literature on social capital and community gardens.

This literature review played three roles in developing the toolkit. First, the review provided the toolkit with a conceptual foundation for social capital. Second, the review informed the interview guide that was used with community garden stakeholders. The stakeholders provided important input into the toolkit’s development. Third, the review was used to develop the reflection exercise questions within the toolkit. To make the toolkit accessible to a wide and diverse audience it is absent of the phrase “social capital.” Instead the toolkit uses the language that captures the essence and meaning of social capital, as defined by the literature.

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