Collaboration & Sharing: Promoting Healthy Life in Low-Income Community
Student Community Service Award
Hefei, Anhui, China
Zihao He, Student International ASLA;
Captivating imagery. The submission was well put together. Significant community impact. The quality of the presentation is excellent, and the project is described extremely well. The impact and engagement with people of all ages in the community is appreciated!
- 2023 Awards Jury
The project encourages interpersonal interactions so as to build a social community and foster the revival of the communities. By offering the underprivileged equal access to green infrastructures and improving their living environment, this project draws public attention to the declining communities, sparks the confidence in local residents and engages them in the rebuilding of their community environment. In addition, it promotes sustainable development concepts such as rainwater management, low-impact design, edible gardens, and nature classrooms in our society.
In China, industrial reconstructuring has led to the prevailing decline of communities surrounding industrial areas. A series of problems including poor environment, insufficient public areas, lack of green space, indifferent neighborhood relationships, and weak community services have become more and more prominent. This community garden, site is located in the Jianghe Community on the outskirts of Hefei city, covering an area of 4.75 square kilometers. This area used to be the center of local manufacturing enterprises who enjoyed a long period of economic prosperity. Along with the decline of those enterprises, factory buildings have been used for other purposes and the green infrastructure in the community remained scarce.
Jianghe Community Service center is located in the west of the Checheng residential area. It is the only public space within walking distance of the community. Local residents and community workers hope to have an outdoor space where they can enjoy nature and communicate with their neighbors, as well as a place to gather residents and organize various community activities. To achieve this goal, with the support of local organizations, our team and community service workers jointly launched the project in April 2021. The outdoor space of the service center is upgraded into a community garden that integrates recreational activities, nature education, and gardening.
Project Objectives and Implementation Process
The community garden focuses on low-income groups on the urban fringe. By improving the community environment, it encourages residents to participate in community building, interact with neighbors, and develop a healthy lifestyle.
At the beginning, the team visited community service to collect land use and demographic information. After several rounds of meetings and discussions with local residents and community service workers, the design plan was finalized and the construction was completed in four weeks spanning April to May 2021.
The community garden covers an area of about 1,500 square meters, consisting of two courtyards in the front and back respectively and connected by a narrow alley. The front courtyard is dedicated to community activities, while the back provides additional opportunities for residents to access nature.
The square can be used for various outdoor community activities. A set of colorful circular tracks to encourage residents to actively participate in exercises and cultivate a healthy lifestyle. In addition, ground signs can direct residents to various functional spaces.The wooden deck connects two separate trees to form a larger platform to provide residents. It also allows children to climb and play on it.
The Urban farm area has six planting boxes, where over 20 kinds of fruits and vegetables are planted alternately according to the seasons. These boxes are jointly managed and maintained by community residents and service center workers. In addition, three sets of rainwater collection containers store roughly 1.5 cubic meters (1.5 tons) of rainwater, which can be used for irrigation of the gardening area. The auxiliary visual design in the area promotes the concepts of rainwater management and sustainable development.
SOCIAL IMPACT AND PUBLIC ATTENTION
Once the project is completed, it will serve as the only community garden in the Jianghe Community and play a significant role in the revitalization of the community.
- Common nandina
- Society garlic
- Verbena bonariensis
- Biger leucanthemum
- Jerusalem sage
- Cape leadwort
- China rose
- Button snakeroot
- Umbrella palm
- Chinese pink
- Asparagus myrioeladus
- Canna generalis
- Fragrant plantain lily
- Ball of coloured silk strips
- Common yarrow
- Begonia semperflorens
- Marguerite de valois
- Jinshan spiraea
- Ruellia brittoniana
- Glossy abelia
- Phalaris arundinacea
- Cortaderia selloana
- Weigela florida
- Tree germander
- Super sage
- Miscanthus sinensis
- Mosaic ribbon