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What this research is about?

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Is urban agriculture going to save the world? Could it at least help Melbourne's food supply be more resilient? Is urban agriculture more, or less sustainable than other forms of agriculture? What resources get used to grow food in cities? How might this change in the future?

Until now, research about urban agriculture has often been concerned with what's growing in cities, and what the current benefits of that are, or how much land is available to grow food.

But with the help of citizen scientists and gardeners like you, this project is creating a new dataset which will allow urban agriculture to be looked at in the context of its role in cities and in food supply resilience, both now and into a climate change affected future. Your garden doesn't need to be amazing to participate, we're interested in all food gardens, of all sizes, and of any level of productivity.

This project is being delivered with project partners 3000 Acres, Moreland Food Gardens Network, and the City of Melbourne.


At the end of the year, gardeners who complete this survey will go in the running to win prizes. The more times you complete the survey the better the prizes, and your chance of winning!

If you complete the survey for three months (out of 12), you will go into the draw to win a $40 CERES voucher.

Those who complete it for six months go into the draw to win one of two $50 CERES vouchers.

Complete it for nine months to go into the draw to win one of three $60 CERES vouchers.

If you complete it for 12 months you will receive a thank you gift of Diggers seeds, AND you will go into the draw to win one of five $100 CERES vouchers.

Plain Language Statement for the project:

Modelling urban agriculture's impact on Melbourne's food resilience and sustainability

My name is Dr. Seona Candy and I am a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. I am conducting research to understand the impact of urban agriculture on Melbourne's food resilience and sustainability. Ms. Jennifer Sheridan is the Research Assistant in this project and Professor Chris Ryan is the Director of VEIL, the research group of which we are members. The research project is funded by an internal grant from the University of Melbourne.

The following survey forms Phase 1 of our research project. It focuses on what you produce in your urban food garden and what resources you use to produce it as well as some brief questions about who benefits from your garden and your motivations behind producing your own food. Phase 2 of the project will involve more detailed measurement of garden production and resources used (you are not obligated to continue on and complete Phase 2 if you don't want to). The information gathered will be used for this project and possibly in future research directly related to this project, such as an investigation into how urban agriculture could be integrated with other urban systems such as water and waste management.

It is expected that the results from this project will be published in academic journals with accompanying articles in popular media such as The Conversation, as well as a final report that will be published in the VEIL website. Participants will be anonymous in any publications arising from this research. In cases where we would like to quote participants in publications, we will remove any references to personal information that might allow someone to guess your identity.

You can request receiving a copy of findings. Should you request to receive a copy of findings, once the reports arising from this research have been completed, a copy will be emailed or posted to you. It is also possible that the results will be presented at academic conferences or in published scientific papers.

Please be advised that your participation in this research project is completely voluntary. Should you wish to withdraw at any stage, or to withdraw any unprocessed data you have supplied, you are free to do so without prejudice. Any confidential data obtained during the project - such as participants' contact details - will be kept confidential (subject to legal limitations) during the project and only the above named researchers will have access to it.

Such data will be kept for five years and will be destroyed by the Principal Researcher at the end of this period.

If you would like to participate, please click on 'Proceed' below. By clicking 'Proceed' it is implied that you give your consent for the information you provide to be used for this project. This survey is anonymous but at the end of the survey, you will be given the option to share your details with the research team if you would like to be involved in Phase 2.

Should you require any further information, or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Seona Candy at candys@unimelb.edu.au

This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Manager, Human Research Ethics, Office for Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Email: humanethics-complaints@unimelb.edu.au. All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project (1648305.1).

Thank you very much for your time.

Leading Research Unit:
Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL)
Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning
University of Melbourne

Project Team:
Dr Seona Candy, Principal Researcher, University of Melbourne
Jennifer Sheridan, Research and Project Assistant, University of Melbourne
(Professor Chris Ryan, Director of VEIL, University of Melbourne)