Edible Streets Oxford is an initiative to encourage the growing of fresh food on publicly accessible land, improving physical, mental and community health. The Edible Streets Project is a collaborative study between Architecture, Psychology and Nutrition. The SEED funded feasibility study for Edible Streets highlighted the need for guidance to remove “red tape” (licence, permission, insurance etc.) regarding setting up edible streets in Oxfordshire, as well as guidance for resources, skills and knowledge. As part of this, a 1mx1m planter was implemented in a residential street in Barton, Oxford, where the research team have a Whatsapp group to keep in touch with the residents who use the planter.
The impact accelerator award and funding from Oxfordshire County Council Public Health, supported the Edible Streets “How-to” guide, which will be available to download by members of the public from the County Council website by March 2024. The guide is being developed using real world research within the Oxford community from qualitative data collection from residents and key stakeholders. The data analysis will highlight key themes, and inform what should be included in the developed guidance document.
The Partnership Award is funding the design and build of a larger set of planters on the street in Barton on the request of residents, using the information gained from the research to date, including more surface area for growing, seating, composting and rainwater collection. QR codes on the planters enable residents to join the Whatsapp group and link to the Edible Streets Project Website with recipes for the plants. The funding has enabled the engagement of a local architect to design alongside the Edible Streets Team and interior architecture students, the planters and project manage a local contractor to complete the project by July 2023.
The research underpinning this project has particularly been delivering impacts within the local community, including:
- Implementation of Edible Street interventions in the Oxford Community, with one planter since January 2022 and more planters by July 2023.
- An Edible Streets “How-to” guide available to download from the Oxfordshire County Council website by March 2024.
Quantitative and qualitative data is being gathered on the impacts the planters have on community well-being.
- Samangooei, M. Thondre, P., Davies, E., Gupta, K., Seddighi, M., and Blythe, C. (In Progress) ‘Edible streets: growing food on publicly accessible streetscapes’ in (journal article)
- Samangooei, M. Thondre, P. Davies, E. Gupta, K. Seddighi, M., and Sims, J. (In Progress) ‘The impact of an Edible Street intervention, on a residential street in Oxford’ in (journal article)
Funded by: University of Bath and the EPSRC funded Oxford Brookes University SEED funding for Enhancing the Future of Transport and Urban Infrastructure, Oxford Brookes University Impact Accelerator Award and Partnership Award and Oxfordshire County Council Public Health
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