Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    The ‘In Bloom’ competition: gardening work as a community involvement strategy

    Stewart, Angela and Kagan, Carolyn (2008) The ‘In Bloom’ competition: gardening work as a community involvement strategy. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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    The ‘In Bloom’ competition offers local people to become active in improving their neighbourhoods through the planting of flowers throughout the spring and summer months. This paper will describe how the work of planting and looking after the flower beds and displays develops community cohesion and improves not only the physical environment, but also the relationships between community members. Fractured relationships are repaired and positive encounters replace confrontational ones. Furthermore the role of success in local and regional competitions will be explored in relation to community engagement. The importance of activity as a participative strategy will be explored. The discussion will draw on Habermas’ concept of communication action context to understand some of the blocks to participation and the role that activity plays in engagement.

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