The paper examines factors that support or obstruct the development of urban community garden projects. It combines a systematic scholarly literature review with empirical research from case studies located in New Zealand and Germany. The findings are discussed against the backdrop of placemaking processes: urban community gardens are valuable platforms to observe space-to-place transformations. Following a social-constructionist approach, literature-informed enablers and barriers for the development of urban community gardens are analysed against perceived notions informed by local interviewees with regard to their biophysical and technical, socio-cultural and economic, and political and administrative dimensions. These dimensions are incorporated into a systematic and comprehensive category system. This approach helps observe how the essential biophysical-material base of the projects is overlaid with socio-cultural factors and shaped by governmental or administrative regulations. Perceptual differences become evident and are discussed through the lens of different actors.