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Encourage the local urban neighbourhood to fight climate change through growing their own food



This proposal proposes the project Urban Edible Street, to encourage urban neighbourhood to growing their own food. In the past, the practice of growing shrubs or tree for own or local consumption is a norms among Malaysian rural communities. However, this practice is not popular among urban neighbourhood. Therefore, this proposal outlines a project for local urban neighbourhood to optimise the kerbside area for planting the small trees or shrubs for local consumption.

What actions do you propose?

The rationalist models assumed that educating people about climate change issues would automatically result in more climate change friendly behavior, and have been termed  as information ‘deficit’ models of public understanding and action. Knowledge about the issues per se is insufficient to trigger the intention to shift the behaviour towards more climate change friendly.


The intention to take an action is influenced at least by three factors;

i) Specific attitude

 -the individual’s favourable or unfavourable evaluation of performing the behaviour,

ii) Subjective norm

  • based on individual’s perception of whether the community would want them to perform the behaviour,

iii) Perceived behaviour control

- reflect the extent to which individuals perceived the behaviour to be under volitional control.


Individual who hold positive attitudes towards environmental activism, think that there is normative support for engaging in activism, and perceive that they can easily engage in activism, should they have strong intention to perform the behaviour.


In Malaysia urban residential area, the kerbside area is not being fully optimized. This area can be planted with small trees or shrubs such as lettuce, lemon grass, kaffir lime tree, parsley, spring onion and etc. These are among the popular herbs used in Malaysian cuisine. These plants not only improved visual esthetics of the kerbside area, but they also multifunctional.


In this project, it is important to ensure the local urban neighbourhood aware what are the benefits the will receive from the project, and this able to influence their attitude towards the project. This Urban Edible Street project will bring several benefits to the local neighbourhood:

  • Economic benefit: They can save money.
  • Health benefit: Fresh foods to supplement a household’s diet
  • Social benefit : Gardening as community activity
  • Environmental benefit: By growing trees it can help to slowing of rainfall runoff and assisting it infiltrate as soil water rather than be lost to the stormwater drain, thus obtaining a use from it before it returns to the water cycle

It is pivotal to ensure the local neighbourhood see the “whole picture” of intertwined impact from the Urban Edible Street project. 


Change of community norms begins with connections. This project will be publicized through social media, especially in local community page, and in newspaper. This will create points of contact, for sharing food and skills and making spaces for conversation. That is why the initiative to plant trees in public places and front gardens works: it creates a place where ideas can be discussed and can begin to change the local community norms. This local initiatives project may inspire and spread to other neighbourhood.


In terms of perceived behaviour control; the acquisition of knowledge and skill concerning gardening, financial start up for the project, and facilities, are among important factor for sustaining this project.




Who will take these actions?

  • Urban neighbourhood


  • Local council

Permission approval from local council are required

  •  Landscape expert/officer

To guide the neighbourhood regarding:

 a) Suitable species plants for the street garden

 b) Design for pedestrian safety

c) Design for access to and from vehicles and the street

d) Practices for climate-friendly gardening

Where will these actions be taken?

This project will take place in Bangi, situated in the district of Hulu Langat, in Selangor, Malaysia. Bangi is a township - recently crowned as "Knowledge City". For more than three decades Bangi has evolved from a small town with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Malaysia National University) as the anchor tenant into a town flourishing with Universities, Colleges, Training Institutes and Research Centers. All the highly educated staffs from the organizations reside in Bangi, creating a population of intellectuals and knowledge society that contributed tremendously in the development of the nation. The Bangi community has mixed Urban & Village lifestyle because most of them originated from the village and migrated to Bangi after making good in their education and career. Therefore, Bangi is an appropriate place to introduce the Urban Edible Street project, because this project is taking an inspiration from Malaysian village/rural community practice.

How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?

Growing own food is another way to make local neighbourhood area climate-friendly. Most supermarket produce travels more than 1,000 miles (often in a refrigerated truck) to get to the local supermarket. Eliminating some of that transportation and refrigeration by growing your own produce not only conserves fossil fuels and prevents carbon emissions, but also saves money.

Gardening practices alone will not solve climate change issues. It is just a small piece of the puzzle. But if we put together the collective efforts by the local neighbourhoods to greening the urban neighbourhood with the edible plants, this can play an important part in the fight against climate change by storing carbon in their soil and trees, and reducing heat-trapping emissions from pesticides, fertilizers, and garden waste and equipment

What are other key benefits?

  • Economic benefit: People can save money.
  • Health benefit: Fresh foods to supplement a household’s diet. Food security.
  • Social benefit : Gardening as community activity. Social inclusion
  • Environmental benefit: By growing trees it can help to slowing of rainfall runoff and assisting it infiltrate as soil water rather than be lost to the stormwater drain, thus obtaining a use from it before it returns to the water cycle

What are the proposal’s costs?

$5000  for seedlings, equipment,  herbs combination shrubs, trees and etc

$3000  for publicity/advertisement.

$2000 for consultation from landscape expert.

Time line

The propose timeline for this project is 1 year. After 1 year, this project may sustain through fundraising or others financial incentives

Related proposals


Anja Kollmuss & Julian Agyeman (2002) Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior?, Environmental Education Research, 8:3, 239-260

Fielding, K.S., Terry, D.J., Masser, B.,& Hogg, M.A (2008). Integrating social identity theory and the theory of planned behaviour to explain decision to engage in sustainable agricultural practices. British Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 23-48