Exploring guerrilla gardening: gauging public views on the grassroots activity

David Adams, Peter Larkham, Micheal Hardman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on guerrilla gardening is developing rapidly. The majority of these accounts currently derive from North America, with little academic exploration apparent beyond this context: they focus explicitly on the grass-roots gardeners and show little regard for those surrounding the action's location. Guerrilla gardeners often colonise land not only without the permission from authorities, but also with little regard for those who surround the space; transforming areas without consulting with the local communities. This paper explores those affected by guerrilla gardening; grounding our argument in evidence gathered from the activities of three guerrilla groups. In doing so, we investigate the public's views of several informal gardening projects, questioning their value and impact on the surrounding areas. The emerging responses are very mixed, ranging from positive comments about improving aesthetics, to negative remarks surrounding the practices of some groups. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates how, although often promoted and perceived to be a constructive activity, guerrilla gardening can result in adverse impacts on those who surround colonised sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1246
Number of pages16
JournalLocal Environment
Issue number10
Early online date21 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Guerilla gardening
  • Urban agriculture
  • Political gardening
  • Ethnography
  • Research methods


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