Flowers in the dark: The contribution of rooftop urban agriculture to human well-being in the Ein El-Hilweh Refugee Camp, Lebanon

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschung


Securing the livelihoods of disadvantaged social groups such as refugees is a decisive part of sustainable development globally. In Lebanon, Palestinian and Syrian-Palestinian refugees are marginalized groups facing aggravating hardships in the light of the country's rising economic and political crises. Urban agriculture has become an increasingly popular tool for city residents to counteract economic instability and secure their livelihoods. This study explores the intersection between refugees in protracted displacement, urban agriculture, and sustainable livelihoods by analyzing the livelihood effects of rooftop urban agriculture for Palestinian women in Ein El-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest refugee camp. To this end, we applied a mixed-method approach combining a document analysis and a survey of ten female participants of an urban agricultural project in Ein El-Hilweh Camp, Lebanon. We analyzed data by an adapted Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. Our findings suggest that rooftop urban agriculture as an informal bottom-up strategy that contributes considerably to more sustainable livelihoods of Palestinian women and their families in the refugee camp by enabling them to develop natural and human capital as the basis for increasing their food security while protecting natural resources. Rooftop urban agriculture thus is a low-threshold tool for refugees in protracted displacement that enhances their well-being over the medium term. By providing novel data on the livelihoods of Palestinian urban gardeners in Lebanon, this study closes an empirical gap and offers entry points for further research. If scaled up, the initiative could catalyze social improvement in other protracted refugee situations in the Middle East and elsewhere.
ZeitschriftWorld Development Sustainability
Anzahl der Seiten8
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2023