Parisians are encouraged to cultivate urban gardens to meet the city’s goal of adding 100 hectares of green space by 2020.
Though it might be illegal to grow food in most public spaces in the U.S., Paris is now allowing – and even encouraging – its residents to make use of unused space and grow urban gardens. Upon receiving a three-year permit (which can be renewed), anyone can plant a garden within the city’s limits.
The permit allows for those with green thumbs to cultivate plants on walls, in boxes, on rooftops, under trees, and even on fences. The intent is to create 100 hectares of living walls and green roofs by the year 2020, according to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. One-third of the added greenery is dedicated to agriculture.
My Modern Met relays that locals are required to use sustainable methods to grow plants, which means the use of pesticides is not tolerated. Additionally, gardeners are asked to sign a “Charter of revegetation” and grow “local honey plants”, as well as maintain their urban gardens to enhance city’s aesthetic.
To help growers kickstart their projects, the city is also giving every new permit recipient a “planting kit” that includes seeds and topsoil. Officials have included suggestions for those who are inspired to cultivate fruit trees, vegetables, and miscellaneous plants, but ultimately, hope citizens use their imagination to beautify the city.
According to Penelope Komitès, assistant to the mayor, cultivating the gardens could help locals strengthen relationships with nearby residents. Additionally, peoples’ efforts could help revive honeybee populations and boost the quality of life for city dwellers. It’s definitely a win-win for all involved.
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