Please login first
James Ward   Dr.  University Lecturer 
Timeline See timeline
James Ward published an article in September 2018.
Top co-authors See all
Craig T. Simmons

203 shared publications

National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT); College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University; P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide South Australia 5001 Australia

Adrian D. Werner

117 shared publications

College of Science and Engineering, and National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Gavin Mudd

82 shared publications

Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, RMIT University, 124 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

Damien Giurco

52 shared publications

Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Mohan Yellishetty

26 shared publications

Resources Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(2011 - 2018)
Total number of journals
published in
Publications See all
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Beyond Productivity: Considering the Health, Social Value and Happiness of Home and Community Food Gardens Georgia Pollard, Philip Roetman, James Ward, Belinda Chiera,... Published: 20 September 2018
Urban Science, doi: 10.3390/urbansci2040097
DOI See at publisher website ABS Show/hide abstract
We are living in an age of concern for mental health and wellbeing. The objective of the research presented in this paper is to investigate the perceived health, social value and happiness benefits of urban agriculture (UA) by focusing on home and community food gardens in South Australia. The results reported in this paper are from “Edible Gardens”, a citizen science project designed to investigate the social value, productivity and resource efficiency of UA in South Australia. Methods include an online survey and in-field garden data collection. Key findings include: dominant home gardener motivations were the produce, enjoyment, and health, while dominant community gardener motivations were enjoyment, connection to others and the produce. Exploratory factor analysis revealed four key factors: Tranquillity and Timeout, Develop and Learn Skills, the Produce, and Social Connection. The key difference between home and community gardeners was an overall social connection. Although home gardeners did not appear to actively value or desire inter-household social connection, this does not mean they do not value or participate in other avenues of social connection, such as via social learning sources or by sharing food with others. The combined results from this research regarding health and wellbeing, social connection and happiness support the premise that engagement in home or community food gardening may provide a preventative or supportive role for gardener health and wellbeing, regardless of whether it is a conscious motivation for participation.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Water Use Efficiency in Urban Food Gardens: Insights from a Systematic Review and Case Study Georgia Pollard, James Ward, Philip Roetman Published: 12 September 2018
Horticulturae, doi: 10.3390/horticulturae4030027
DOI See at publisher website ABS Show/hide abstract
Water use and the cost of water are key factors when considering the net value of urban agriculture (UA). This systematic review critically evaluates past and recent UA yield research from the perspective of water use efficiency. A systematic literature search was conducted using the databases Scopus, ProQuest Agriculture and Environment, and Web of Science for references from 1975 to 2018, with 25 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. Of these, only five articles had actively collected UA water use data, all on purpose-built experimental gardens. Considering the scarcity of UA water use efficiency and water measurement literature, South Australia is presented as a case study to demonstrate the considerable diversity of water pricing, water sources and irrigation methods available to urban food growers. The practical challenges of garden placement and the wide variety of cultivation techniques, water sources and irrigation methods are reviewed. Four equations to calculate the water use efficiency (WUE) of UA are proposed and demonstrated. Collection of additional UA water use data would support more robust evaluations of the water use efficiency and economic implications of different cultivation techniques. Further work in this field will enable a realistic understanding of the current and future contribution of UA to our society.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations A Semi-Systematic Review of Capillary Irrigation: The Benefits, Limitations, and Opportunities Niranjani P. K. Semananda, James D. Ward, Baden R. Myers Published: 01 September 2018
Horticulturae, doi: 10.3390/horticulturae4030023
DOI See at publisher website ABS Show/hide abstract
Capillary irrigation systems have been investigated for some years as a means to deliver water to plants in container gardening. This review paper identifies that traditional capillary irrigation systems such as capillary wicks, capillary mats, and ebb and flow systems have been shown to produce higher crop yields and use less water than conventional irrigation methods. In addition, capillary irrigation offers an added advantage by reducing the volume of potentially harmful leachate into surrounding soil environments. However, these systems are basically limited to small pot sizes and are widely used for growing ornamental and nursery plants in glasshouse conditions. Further, the cost and complexity of Negative Pressure Difference Irrigation may have limited its practical use. Conversely, wicking beds (WBs) are low-tech and water-efficient systems which can be used for growing plants with different rooting depths. Irrespective of the wide acceptance of WBs among the growing community, this review recognises that there is no published research providing design recommendations for WBs and their expected performance relative to other irrigation systems. Therefore, some potential advantages of WBs are noted in the context of capillary irrigation research; however, a substantial knowledge gap exists relating to the optimised design and use of WBs.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Aquaponics in Urban Agriculture: Social Acceptance and Urban Food Planning Georgia Pollard, James D. Ward, Barbara Koth Published: 15 June 2017
Horticulturae, doi: 10.3390/horticulturae3020039
DOI See at publisher website ABS Show/hide abstract
Aquaponics is emerging as a novel technology with particular potential for urban agriculture (UA). The social acceptance of aquaponics and its place in urban food planning has not previously been studied. This study used focus groups, key informant interviews, and scenario analyses to investigate the reactions of Adelaide’s urban food opinion leaders and local government area (LGA) officials to aquaponics. Most of the focus group participants were unfamiliar with aquaponics. The perceived negatives of the technology received greater attention than the perceived benefits. Aquaponics was thought to be most competitive in either niche or wholesale markets, with a need for scaled guidelines from backyard to large-scale commercial production. For aquaponics in urban settings the influence of urban planning and policy is an important, but to date unstudied, consideration. The urban growers’ opinions of the overcomplicated nature of urban food planning corresponded with the mixed policy responses of the LGAs towards UA. This further supports the participants’ desire for a supportive State Government stance on UA to encourage consistency in LGAs.
Article 0 Reads 2 Citations Optimising Crop Selection for Small Urban Food Gardens in Dry Climates James Ward, John Symons Published: 10 May 2017
Horticulturae, doi: 10.3390/horticulturae3020033
DOI See at publisher website ABS Show/hide abstract
The net value of urban agriculture has not been studied, especially accounting for the cost of water. This study has sought to remedy this gap in the literature by examining the varying price of water in different climates. A two-stage linear programming model has been used to maximise the net value of urban agriculture. The decision variables included the type and yield of crops; constraints included upper and lower bounds of dietary food groups, individual foods, protein and energy as well as area utilised per person. The results show optimal crop regimes are similar across different climates and water prices due to the selection of crops that have high profit margins. The results also showed that per capita garden size is critical with smaller gardens optimal in terms of water applied per unit area and net value returned as well as return per unit area due to the ability to select the highest value crops. Generally, the more high-value and low water-use crops that can be included, the higher the value in larger gardens. The results indicate that a modest food garden growing the right crops can be highly cost-effective, even with conservative crop yields and water use.
Article 0 Reads 22 Citations Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible? James D. Ward, Paul C. Sutton, Adrian D. Werner, Robert Cost... Published: 14 October 2016
PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164733
DOI See at publisher website PubMed View at PubMed ABS Show/hide abstract
The argument that human society can decouple economic growth—defined as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—from growth in environmental impacts is appealing. If such decoupling is possible, it means that GDP growth is a sustainable societal goal. Here we show that the decoupling concept can be interpreted using an easily understood model of economic growth and environmental impact. The simple model is compared to historical data and modelled projections to demonstrate that growth in GDP ultimately cannot be decoupled from growth in material and energy use. It is therefore misleading to develop growth-oriented policy around the expectation that decoupling is possible. We also note that GDP is increasingly seen as a poor proxy for societal wellbeing. GDP growth is therefore a questionable societal goal. Society can sustainably improve wellbeing, including the wellbeing of its natural assets, but only by discarding GDP growth as the goal in favor of more comprehensive measures of societal wellbeing.