BetterGardens: Soil quality, Biodiversity and Social Value of Urban Gardens

The BetterGardens research project aimed to explore how gardeners cultivate their gardens and by which factors their decisions are influenced. Furthermore, we investigated the outcomes of chosen management concepts on soil quality and biodiversity as well as on the quality of life of gardeners. The study was conducted in four interrelated sub-projects (A-D) by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL.

Further information about the project BetterGardens


  • Take a look at the RSI report on our project (in Italian).

Factors Influencing Gardeners' Behaviour

  • Social Norms
  • Attitudes and beliefs
  • Perceived behavioural control
  • Policy and regulations


  • Matthias Stolze (Project coordinator)
  • Robert Home (Task leader)
  • Heidrun Moschitz (Researcher)
  • Ingrid Jahrl (PhD Student)

Outcomes for Gardeners

  • Restoration
  • Psychological well-being
  • Physical health
  • Social contact and cohesion
  • Place attachement
  • Fruit, vegetables, flowers etc.


  • Nicole Bauer (Task leader)
  • Christopher Young (Researcher)

Outcomes for Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Functional diversity
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Ecosystem services
  • Interactions with soil


  • Marco Moretti (Task leader)
  • David Frey (PhD Student)
  • Simon Tresch (PhD Student)

Outcomes for Soil Quality

  • Soil quality
  • Physical soil properties
  • Soil chemistry
  • Soil fertility
  • Litter decomposition
  • Relationship with biodiversity


  • Paul Mäder (Task leader)
  • Andreas Fliessbach (Researcher)
  • Jens Wohlfahrt (Researcher)
  • Simon Tresch (PhD Student)