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In Hong Kong, the proportion of elderly aged 65 and over has increased over the years, and was 17.9% in 2019. What will a city with more older people look like?

Urban farming areas can help to make our city and its communities more age-friendly . By providing space and opportunities for the elderly to engage in gardening activities, the elderly can spend their time more meaningfully, learn new skills and interact with people from different age groups. Community gardens are also a space thereby promoting intergenerational bonding .

Here are some activities that can be held at farming spaces to cater to the needs and interests of the elderly, and promote intergenerational bonding.

Old people gardening
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Ageing
     city

1. Health

  • Eating food grown by oneself without chemical pesticides and fertilisers
     

  • Gardening as light and moderate physical activity 
     

  • Increased time spent in nature with fresh air and sunlight

2. Education

  • Learning new skills such as organic farming and composting 
     

  • Learning about concepts related to sustainability such as composting food waste and circular economy

3. Community Recreation

  • Taking part in gardening activities with others
     

  • Taking part in community activities like film screening, yoga sessions and live music concerts at the edible space

  • Turning an underused public space into a lively edible garden
     

  • Increasing green space in the city for everyone to enjoy

4. Urban Improvement

  • Contributing to the efforts of a wider community by participating in the edible space
     

  • Taking on leadership roles in the edible space

5. Social Empowerment

6. Social Group Integration

  • Gardening together with people from all walks of life in the neighbourhood 
     

  • Building stronger ties with others in the community 

Social Value of Urban Farming

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CHALLENGES OUR CITY IS FACING

As our cities develop, different challenges emerge, such as ageing, declining mental health, and environmental unsustainability. How do you think urban edible spaces can address them? Take a look at some of the challenges below and see how urban farming area can help.

People in Hong Kong are suffering from poor and worsening mental health. In 2020, people in Hong Kong scored just 45.12 on the Well-Being Index in 2020, below the satisfactory level of 52. Mental health issues can affect nearly everyone in the society in Hong Kong, such as the elderly, working population and adolescents. How have you been feeling?

Connecting with nature itself is a therapeutic activity. Through incorporating mindfulness elements into gardening activities, urban farming area can also help to improve our mental wellbeing and help us relax. Moreover, urban gardening communities can be a source of support amongst its members.

Check out some of the activities that can be held at farming area to promote mental wellbeing and relaxation.

Mental    health

Global warming and climate change threatens all life on our planet,

and we are making it worse in Hong Kong because our ways of consuming things are very unsustainable. A recent study found Hong Kong people throw away 196 tonnes of clothes every day, and a third of their clothes are never worn. What is your lifestyle like? 

 

Urban farming can teach us many things when it comes to environmental sustainability, from food miles  to circular economy . Members of the garden can learn about and implement sustainable and ecological principles in urban community gardens. These principles can also be transferred to our daily lives, such as recycling and composting.

Check out some of the activities that can be held at urban farming spaces to educate participants on different concepts related to sustainability.

Environmental sustainability

WHO ARE IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
How can they contribute and benefit from the space?

Everything is interconnected and dynamic in nature, and community gardens are also like ecosystems which overlap with each other and other parts of the society. In a community garden, there are also varying levels of participation. Usually, there are key members who have a larger role in organising the community garden, but there may also be volunteers and participants who take up regular duties or even join less regularly. There may also be people or restaurants who share their food waste with the community garden to make compost, or visitors who come by to visit. Everyone contributes and benefits in their own way, and there is always something someone can do to help the community garden thrive. Read the table below to find out more. Click here if you are viewing on mobile site.

Potential contributions

Potential benefits

  • Take care of plants during office hours

  • Cook the harvest and share with the community

  • Connect the garden community with the neighbourhood to get resources (e.g. food waste) and share harvests

  • Learn how to grow food that is healthy and safe for their family

  • Grow healthy food for their family