The pandemic and its associated lockdowns have uncovered an acute need for food security in urban areas. To address this need, Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) in Jordan has embarked on several projects to foster urban gardening in the capital Amman, in coordination with various associations, funding agencies, and the local community.
Promoting urban gardening in cities is key to the process of recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. Urban gardening has positive impacts on the economy, the environment, and food security. It provides a local food source that is not vulnerable to long supply chains, and it also increases access to affordable and healthy food. Urban gardens also contribute to enhancing social cohesion by increasing green spaces, leisure and recreational spaces for local communities. To this end, GAM in cooperation with UN Habitat has launched the “Community Mobilization and Logistical Preparations for the Community Resilience Priority Actions to Flash Floods” project. A significant component of the project was the vocational training that aims at raising the awareness of the local community to the importance and potentials of urban gardening activities.
The bottom-up approach of this project highlighted the importance of engaging the local community to support municipalities in overcoming the challenges related to urban agriculture. This is demonstrated by the high interest of the local community, especially women, in implementing urban gardening activities in their homes and any available nearby vacant land. Feedback from the beneficiaries revealed the benefits of such trainings as it would help supply households with fresh produce, as well will enhance their skills and provide new job opportunities.