Descriptive Title: Proportion of households that are within 1/4 mile of a community garden

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Point

Proportion of households that are within 1/4 mile of a community garden (2011)
NeighborhoodProportion within 1/4 Mile
Bayview/Hunter's Point 23%
Bernal Heights 60%
Castro/Upper Market 42%
Chinatown 35%
Excelsior 17%
Financial District/South Beach 0%
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park 0%
Haight Ashbury 0%
Hayes Valley
Inner Richmond 9%
Inner Sunset 20%
Lakeshore 0%
Lincoln Park
Lone Mountain/USF
Marina 14%
McLaren Park
Mission 58%
Mission Bay
Nob Hill 31%
Noe Valley 16%
North Beach 41%
Outer Mission 0%
Outer Richmond 7%
Pacific Heights 0%
Potrero Hill 61%
Presidio 0%
Presidio Heights 0%
Russian Hill 48%
San Francisco 26%
Seacliff 0%
South of Market 41%
Treasure Island 0%
Twin Peaks 30%
Visitacion Valley 38%
West of Twin Peaks 0%
Western Addition 28%

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Community gardens can provide a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for users, supporting the achievement of federal nutritional recommendations. Research shows that living in greener environments is also associated with reduced self-reported health symptoms, better self-rated health, and higher scores on general health questionnaires.a Gardens may also provide a venue for social interaction, supporting the development or maintenance of social cohesion and social capital.

The Recreation and Open Space Element of the San Francisco General Plan, Policy 2.12 states community gardens are a valuable use of open space in dense urban areas. They improve the quality of life in the city by revitalizing neighborhoods, and stimulating social interaction and neighborhood cooperation. In addition they provide opportunities for recreation and exercise for those who work in the gardens, and provide visual interest to the general public. The City should also investigate opportunities to preserve existing gardens, in order to maximize the opportunity for San Franciscans to use, enjoy, and benefit from community gardens.

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

As of August 2011, San Francisco had approximately 51 community gardens. Although every community garden is represented on the same map, the size, management and upkeep differ considerably.


Geographic proximity, however, does not equal access. Various factors, such as perceived safety of the neighborhood, topography, access to public transportation, hours of access to community garden, financial and time constraints, lengthy wait lists, and physical disability may limit access to community gardens. A waiting list for a community garden may not be a useful proxy for demand for community gardens. The various factors mentioned above, as well as cost for participation, publicity about the garden's existence, and awareness about who can use the garden all contribute to use and demand for a community garden.

Data Source

Location of community gardens from San Francisco Garden Resource Organization.  Available at: (Accessed August, 2011)

Household data from Census 2010 SF1.

Map prepared by City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.Table data is presented by planning neighborhood.

Table data is presented by planning neighborhood. While planning neighborhoods are larger geographic areas than census tracts, census tracts do not always lie completely within a planning neighborhood. SFDPH used ArcGIS software and a dasymetric mapping technique to attribute Census block group data to residential lots. We then assigned residential lots to planning neighborhoods to calculate Census population totals within the neighborhoods.

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

  1. Vries S, de Verheij RA, Groenewegen PP, Spreeuwenberg P. Natural environments - healthy environments? An exploratory analysis of the relationship between green space and health. Environment and Planning A. 2003(10);35:1717-1731.