The benefits to the community can be many and varied, but care must be taken to ensure that projects are welcomed by residents and not imposed upon them.
One part of this is to ensure that the leaders of the enterprises and the workers are members of the local community.
Projects need to be localised to match the aspirations and concerns of each community. “Leafy suburbs” has up-market connotations with good reason and residents of poorer suburbs may have valid reservations of solutions imposed from outside. (Planting Inequality: how Durham's trees show history of marginalization)
Indigenous members of the community should be included and given the opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives.
Garden design should take into account pedestrians with disabilities. eg strappy leaves over the path can tangle in wheels but also sensory gardens can provide additional benefits.
- Constant exposure to nature in tree-lined, walkable streets has benefits for physical and mental health.
- Proximity to greenspace, even having a street tree in front, is considered to increase the value of a property. (not always seen as benefit – see above)
- Local employment means more money is introduced into the community without the addition of more traffic.
- The improved appearance of the streets raises local pride.
- The additional interaction between community members, pedestrians and the workers increases the sense of community.
- Interaction with researchers and other professionals may expand the understanding of these fields and potential careers within the community.
- The community is a major stakeholder and their acceptance and ownership of the projects is vital.
- Local knowledge will identify target locations and target groups.
- Local leaders can help form organisations and social enterprises, serve on committees, etc
- Local businesses can offer sponsorship and other assistance.
- Support the organisations and workers.
- Identify and prioritise sites for transformation.
- Assistance with providing water after planting and in extreme weather.