Trend Analysis of Balcony Vegetable Gardens in Korea, Before and After COVID-19 Pandemic Using Big Data

Yumin Park, Yong-Wook Shin
2022 Journal of people, plants, and environment  
and objective: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been staying at home more and "balcony vegetable gardens," a form of urban agriculture, have been mentioned more frequently. As a result of the Korea Housing Survey in 2020, the percentage of households living in apartments among general households in Korea was 51.1%, but there is insufficient research to understand public perception and trends of the balcony vegetable gardens. Therefore, this study was conducted to analyze the trends of
more » ... lcony vegetable gardens over the last 4 years including before and after the COVID-19 outbreak and to provide basic data for effective application to related policies and research.Methods: A total of 5,011 posts that mentioned balcony vegetable gardens were collected from Naver blogs and cafes from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021. To tokenize nouns, Okt morphological analysis of KoNLPy was used, and keywords were derived using TfidfVectorizer of Scikit-learn library. Following that, LDA topic modeling was performed by setting the hyper parameters as <i>α</i>= 0.1, <i>β</i> = 0.01 and iterations = 1,000. The above analysis was conducted using Python 3.9.5.Results: Before the outbreak of COVID-19, balcony vegetable gardening began to receive attention and vitalized as a form of participation in urban agriculture, but after the outbreak, they are established as an activity for healing, emotional support, environmental campaign, and healthy hobby. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, people clearly seemed to seek a more sustainable lifestyle through balcony vegetable garden activities. This shows the values and expected outcomes the public has toward urban agriculture.Conclusion: Balcony gardening activities heal the public, and this healing effect could be a key to the revitalization and development of urban agriculture. These findings can help establish policies and set the directions for urban agriculture that reflect the values and expected outcomes the public has toward urban agricultural activities.
doi:10.11628/ksppe.2022.25.5.447 fatcat:coi73pblcfgenasz4kz5gfkfru