As part of its fight against climate change, the city of Paris launched a call for proposals for a project with a goal of greening the capital through the expansion of urban agriculture. The city and its partners have made 47 sites throughout Paris available to grow plants and vegetables in the heart of the capital.
On roofs, in walls, yards, gardens and even parking lots… the Paris-culteurs project’s goal is to bring farming and greenery to Paris in answer to climate challenges.
Almost 30 hectares (75 acres) have so far been dedicated to the project, with a goal of reaching at least 100 hectares (247 acres) by 2020. Each of the individual farming proposals has to meet several criteria: Zero use of harsh chemical pesticides, they have to be resourceful in their use of water, and use a variety of different growing methods.
Aquaponics, hydroponics, permaculture, orchards, mushroom cultivation, above or below ground edible walls, vegetable roofs, climbing and descending plants, sedum terrace installations: all are options are available to “Paris-culteurs” who can propose techniques involving any and all forms of urban gardening. The city of Paris and its partners have signed a charter formalizing the pledge and to help make it a reality.
The greening of urban environments has many benefits. By providing a refuge for wildlife, helping with soil and air quality and promoting biodiversity, urban agriculture presents considerable advantages for bring nature back into cities and improving living conditions to city dwellers. Additionally, increased green space provides a natural outlet for the absorption of CO2 emissions, helping to combat the problem of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris municipality is also counting on agriculture as a way to improve social connections among citizens and educate the public. Whether by better connecting citizens with their food or by educating children about agriculture and food, these projects will allow city dwellers to reinvest in their city through nature.