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July 1, 2022

Governing Urban Gardens for Resilient Cities: Examining the ‘Garden City Initiative’ in Taipei

Hou, Jeffrey. (2020). Governing Urban Gardens for Resilient Cities: Examining the ‘Garden City Initiative’ in Taipei. Urban Studies (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 57(7), 1398 – 1416.

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With rising concerns for food security and climate adaptation, urban gardening and urban agriculture have emerged as a rising agenda for urban resilience around the world. In East Asia, a variety of initiatives have emerged in recent years with different levels of institutional support. Focusing on Taipei, where a vibrant urban agriculture movement has been unleashed in recent years, this article examines the ongoing outcomes of the city's new 'Garden City Initiative', which supports the establishment of urban gardens including community gardens, rooftop gardens and school gardens. Based on interviews and participant observations during the initial period of advocacy, planning and implementation between 2014 and 2017, this study examines the background of the programme, the involvement of governmental and non-governmental actors and the programme's ongoing implementation. Based on the findings, the article further reflects upon their implications for the practices of urban governance in the face of contemporary environmental, political and social challenges. The case of Taipei suggests a model in which policy formation and implementation may require opportunistic actions involving a variety of actors and organisations in both institutions and the civil society. Rather than dramatic changes or instant institutional realignment, the effort may require strategic adaptation of the existing bureaucratic structure, while mobilising its strengths and resources. In addition, despite the critical role of civil society organisations, the Taipei case also illustrates a considerable public-sector investment, distinct from the predominant model of neoliberal governance that has been associated with urban gardening programmes elsewhere.


Urban Gardening; Urban Planning; Sustainability; Urban Agriculture; Local Government; Taipei (taiwan); 地方政府; 城市农业; 城市田园; 政策; 治理; 环境/可持续性; 规划; Environment/sustainability; Governance; Planning; Policy; Urban Gardens; Community Gardens; Food; Agriculture; Space; Inclusion; Systems; Environment; Realignment; Intervention; Social Change; Food Security; Civil Society; Initiatives; Gardens & Gardening; Policy Making; Neoliberalism; Resilience; Urban Farming; Gardening; Advocacy; Implementation; Roofs; Cities; Adaptation; Urban Areas; Gardens; Institutional Aspects; Bureaucracy; Policy Implementation; Environmental Policy; Climate Change Adaptation; Taipei Taiwan; Taiwan