Paris, France

Photo by Sophie Lefevre

Photo by Annick Guillemaud

Photo by Sonia Yassa

Photo by Margaux Sauvage

Photo by Guillaume Bontemps

Photo by Clément Dorval

Photo by Sophie Lefevre

Photo by Annick Guillemaud

Photo by Matthieu Bedel

Photo by Margaux Sauvage

Photo by J. Foucault

Photo by Margaux Sauvage

Initiative: Getting everyone involved in greening the city

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Paris has set itself some very ambitious objectives in terms of greening its territory, which include increasing the surface area of green spaces, those dedicated to urban agriculture and the total number of planted trees. The goal is to improve the living environment of its residents and contribute to strengthening the resilience of the city in the face of climate change.

In a constrained budgetary context and because the City does not intend to abandon its many other actions, it seems necessary to rely on the key entities of the territory: inhabitants, associations, businesses. This is a viable option as these actors are themselves very interested in contributing to the paradigm shift. Having developed participatory approaches, Paris has benefited from an extremely dense and dynamic associative network for several years.

In order to make the city greener, favourable to biodiversity and urban agriculture, Paris has developed various schemes that are also part of its major Action Plans, including the Biodiversity Plan and the Sustainable Food Plan. The city relies on a network of 150 community gardens managed by neighbourhood associations, which animate local life through gardening activities on land plots allocated to them.

The “Green Permit” program was created in 2015 and authorizes a resident, an association or a business to garden directly on the public space, at the base of a tree, along the curb or at the foot of a building. There are 2,800 green permits active today. Primary and junior high schools also participate in greening their courtyards, through a program called «Oasis Courtyards» making them more pleasant for students as well as residents during weekends. While these structures are free for those who participate, the city has not forgotten to mobilize the business world.

Another program called «Reinventing Paris» looks for innovative urban projects, allowing the award-winning private developers to initiate innovative real estate projects on heritage sites belonging to the city or its partners. They have enabled the implementation of projects with a strong dimension dedicated to revegetation. The third edition was launched in 2021, with approximately 50 sites since its initial launch in 2016. In connection with that, Paris is a member of the “Reinventing cities” network set up by C40 Cities. Finally, the city has set up the “Parisculteurs”/ the Paris Urban Farmers program, following calls for proposals to implement urban farming activities, allots plots of land in the ground, on roofs or in the basement to the project winners.

As with the community gardens, the city finances the pre-installation facilities for those selected. « Parisculteurs » are in their 4th edition with more than a hundred sites proposed and partnerships with neighbouring suburbs of Paris. These various projects, which are often small when considered individually but impactful thanks to their number are making it possible to change the local aspect of the city while developing new economic activities and new uses within it.

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