In the Bruistuin ("Lively Garden") project, residents of Malburgen (a multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Arnhem, the Netherlands) gain hands-on experience with a green and healthy life style. The project is based on the idea that a community garden, where local residents can grow their own vegetables and fruits, will strengthen the neighbourhood community. It will also give people a better understanding of healthy food. Researchers of the Louis Bolk Institute are studying the health effects of this innovative 'Green Care concept'. The project is funded by various parties, including ZonMW (The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) and Volkshuisvesting (Arnhem Housing Corporation).
Tackling 'western' diseases
Western diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol are becoming increasingly widespread in the Netherlands. During the last few years this increase has been most prevalent in non-Western immigrants. By focussing on health, behaviour and prevention (rather than on disease and cure) the Bruistuin project hopes to reach several goals at once: a stronger community, a greater involvement of various groups in the neighbourhood, a change of lifestyle, and healthier people.
Lively Garden kick-off, May 2012
The project kick-off took place on 29 October 2011. An information afternoon was held at the ‘Bruishuis’ community centre, where local residents could share their own ideas about the design and management of the garden, and sign up to participate in the project. The official opening of the garden took place on 11 May 2012.
Health screening of Bruistuin participants
The Louis Bolk Institute is following the health of more than 30 families participating in the Bruistuin project, over a period of 18 months (Nov 2011-May 2013). The objective is to assess whether working together in a multifunctional community garden has an effect on health.