The purpose of this public space toolkit is to provide the knowledge people need to transform public spaces within their community. Public spaces are a major part of cities that people use everyday. The problem is that many open public spaces, like vacant lots, are not effectively used. Meanwhile, communities face issues including social isolation, food scarcity, etc. Therefore, transforming public spaces using community gardens will help address these matters. Methods used for this toolkit include using research databases, examining scholarly journals, and using primary experiences to navigate topics. Results show that there are numerous social benefits obtained when public space management strategies and best practices are properly implemented. This toolkit outlines the strategies and guidelines to consider when starting a garden and what has been proven to be effective for other gardens.
These gardens facilitate community development, build social capital, and address food insecurity. Local Phoenix community gardens, Phoenix Renews and The TigerMountain Foundation, are analyzed. The TigerMountain Foundation was able to demonstrate the power of Asset Based Community Development and how community gardens provided a way for people to invest in their community and gain skills. The Phoenix Renews garden showed the importance of selecting the right space for a garden, and the downsides when certain considerations are not made. Conclusively, community garden can be a catalyst for people to transform their communities. This tool kit provides a starting point, with the knowledge and background information, for people to improve their communities through transforming public space using community gardens.