BDG Academic Award

  The BDG Academic Award will be presented in September 2023.  

The BDG Academic Award is presented every four years by the the German Allotment Garden federation (BDG), the umbrella organisation of allotment gardening in Germany. All academics and students conducting academic activities in the context of allotment gardening are invited to submit their entries. The award recognises academic work that puts forward new and future-oriented ideas that promote the ecological, urban developmental and social functions of allotment gardens.

Submissions invited by:

Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e. V.
Platanenallee 37, 14050 Berlin

Please write to if you would like to receive regular updates on the Academic Award.


The aim of the Academic Award is to direct the attention of academics to allotment gardening. It is supposed to raise awareness of the potential of allotment gardens when it comes to furthering a green infrastructure. The BDG wishes to acknowledge ideas and innovative approaches that are exemplary in the way they seek to integrate allotment gardening in projects directed towards preserving the environment, strengthening our social structures, and enhancing the quality of life in towns and cities.

It is particularly important to us that due recognition is given to academic work and projects that have an exemplary effect on green and social aspects of urban and community development and that contribute to the creation of a modern green infrastructure. The competition aims to stimulate interest in topics relating to allotment gardens and urban green areas in the relevant academic fields and in their practical implementation.

The disciplines addressed by the BDG are broad and include, for example, urban, regional and landscape planning, horticulture, climatic geography, landscape ecology, nature and environmental protection, and health.


It is not just the the German Allotment Garden federation and its members who are currently facing wide-ranging challenges in securing the continued existence and development of allotment gardens. Other national member associations of the Fédération Internationale des Jardins Familiaux a. s. b. l. – with more than three million affiliated leisure gardeners the largest leisure garden organisation in Europe – also wish to secure, qualify and develop allotment gardening as an important contributor to the green infrastructure in Europe. This process is not just relevant to people in political and administrative institutions, but also to urban developers and town planners.

To be considered for the award, papers must in some way contribute to the requirements-based development of existing allotment gardens. Another option will be to determine, by empirical means, the value of allotment gardens to society and/or the environment.

Papers should originate from the context of universities and other institutes of higher education, and the themes covered should relate to the role of allotment gardens in Europe in the widest sense, in the context of urban and regional development and landscape planning. They should point out the extent to which allotments are able to play a role in shaping the future development of cities and towns, and how allotment gardeners can contribute as local stakeholders to an urban landscape development that is both ecologically and socially sustainable.

Possible themes could be surveys of the status-quo as well as innovative approaches for the expansion and further development of existing and the design of new allotment garden sites. Examples are:

  • Ecological improvement of allotment garden sites,
  • biological diversity in allotment gardens,
  • planning and design of sites in terms of climate protection and adaptation,
  • innovative approaches for the safeguarding and further development of already existing allotment garden sites,
  • innovative usages of and for allotment gardens in compliance with the federal allotment garden law,
  • measures to adapt to changing developments in demand,
  • social and health effects of allotment gardens.

The competition is formally aimed at academic work that can also be sure of arousing interest and acceptance within their departments. The range extends from outstanding seminar papers and bachelor’s theses to master’s theses and on to dissertations and scientific articles. Papers published in English may also be submitted. The production and publication period is limited to 2019 to 2023.

Eligibility to submit publications

Scientific and student teams, author collectives, their editors or the authors themselves are eligible to participate.


Following formal examination by the BDG office, submissions will be assessed by an interdisciplinary jury to be appointed by the organisers.

General conditions

The BDG Academic Award 2023 is offered as an open competition. Submissions may state the names of the authors.

Declaration of consent

By taking part in the competition, submitters consent to the publication and documentation of their work and agree with the entire content of the procedure. Only those submissions will be accepted for which the submitters themselves hold the copyright or for which a declaration of consent has been obtained from the copyright holder.

The submitters assure the organisers that any image materials submitted may be used for prize documentary and reporting purposes in both online and printed media.


A total prize money of 5,000 euros is available to the jury for awarding papers. Allocation of the prize money is decided by the jury.

Documentary requirements

Please submit your documentation together with the application form either in an envelope or by e-mail to:

Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e. V.
Platanenallee 37
14050 Berlin

Closing date for submissions: 31 March 2023.