Urban collective garden participation and health: A systematic literature review

Marion Tharrey*, Nicole Darmon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Collective gardens are developing in many cities as a tool to promote the health and well-being of urban dwellers. We conducted a systematic review of the literature of studies using quantitative methods to explore the relationship between participation in community gardens and health of urban adults. Of 1430 articles identified, 18 were included in the systematic review. Methodological quality was assessed using the Quantitative Study Quality Assessment Tool developed by the EPHPP. Collective gardening was associated with higher fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as better mental and social health. Mixed results were found for BMI, physical activity and other physical health outcomes. The methodological quality of the studies was weak, mainly due to their cross-sectional design (n = 14/18) and high risk of selection bias (n = 15/18). More longitudinal studies with pre-post evaluation and presence of a control group are needed to determine whether community gardens can be an effective tool to promote the health of city dwellers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-320
Number of pages21
JournalCahiers de Nutrition et de Dietetique
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Allotment garden
  • Community garden
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Physical activity
  • Well-being


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