Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Geography and the Environment

First Advisor

Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong

Second Advisor

Eric Boschmann

Third Advisor

Rachel Lautenschlager

Fourth Advisor

Martin Margittai


Food security, Green gentrification, Urban agriculture


Urban Agriculture is prominent in cities across the United States and has been studied in relation to food security, sustainability, and gentrification. Urban agriculture is context specific and can include individual gardens, community gardens, guerilla gardening, and urban farms. Urban agriculture is a product of the community it is based in, depending on politics, history, and social environments. For these reasons, the relationship between urban agriculture and the community is an area where more research is needed. This thesis explores the role visible gardens play in community building, sustainability, and food security in gentrifying neighborhoods in Denver. Through qualitative methods including semi-structured interviews (n = 16) and non-participant observations, this thesis explores the reasons people garden where they garden, and the impacts their garden has on them, and their surrounding community. This study shows how urban agriculture largely benefits middle to upper class white residents, with the goal of gardening not to increase food security, but to reduce one’s impact on the environment. While this study supports the literature on the impacts urban agriculture has on gentrification and inequitable benefits, it also illuminates benefits of participating in urban agriculture that include increased community building, sharing of seeds, tools and produce. Additionally, gardening offered people a needed outlet to be in nature, ultimately making the city more livable, despite being limited to those who are already relatively privileged.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kate Johnson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

82 pgs


Geography, Agriculture

Available for download on Sunday, July 21, 2024