Allegrini 2018

If cities “return” land to agriculture: Paris has the largest urban garden in the world

On the roof of the Parc des Expositions there is a 14,000 square meters farm. In the administration plan 30 hectares of farmland by 2020

It ’s not just a passing trend, or a radical chic whim: urban gardens are a reality, and in a world that eats millions of hectares of cultivable lands every day to build and cement, discovering that the largest urban farm in the world will be created in Paris is, literally, a breath of fresh air. Especially because it is not a “spot” intervention, but the flagship of a campaign launched just over a month ago by the administration of the French capital and the mayor Anne Hidalgo, “Cultiver Paris”, a project that will bring in the city, by 2020, 30 hectares of urban farming areas. Not only crops, from tomatoes to vines, but also real farms, both for educational and productive purposes, which will bring chickens, goats, geese and much more to the Ville Lumiere. Speaking of vines, there are 132 vineyards in the Ile-de-France region, a dozen of which are in Paris: the most important, according to the municipal administration’s website, are the Vigne du Parc George-Brassens (1.200 square metres of Pinot Noir, Perlette and Pinot Meunier), the Vigne du Parc de Bellville (250 square metres of Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay), the Vigne du Parc de Bercy (660 square metres of Sauvignon and Chardonnay), the legendary Vigne de Montmartre (1.556 square metres mainly in Gamay and Pinot Noir) and the Vigne de Butte-Bergeyre (600 square metres in Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Chasselas and Pinot Noir).
The world ’s largest urban garden, on the other hand, will be located on the roof of Pavilion 6 of the Parc des Expositions at porte de Versailles, on an area of 14,000 square meters, and will be inaugurated in Spring 2020. The garden will host more than thirty different species of plants, all grown using organic farming methods and a futuristic technique, the aeroponics:
vertically, without the need for land, through a system of irrigation of the roots, which does not require pesticides and minimizes the risk of possible pollutants. It will be looked after by about twenty farmers, who may be able to produce up to a ton of fruit and vegetables daily, but there will also be the possibility for residents to rent small plots of land to cultivate. The bulk of the production, however, will go to supply first of all the restaurants that will open on the roof, with a menu, of course, based on seasonal fruits and vegetables, but also the clubs in the neighborhood. “The aim is to make this farm a model of sustainable production recognized throughout the world. We will use quality products, grown to the rhythm of the cycles of nature, in the heart of Paris - explained Pascal Hardy, founder of Agripolis, the urban agricultural company behind the project - and our fresh products will be used to feed the inhabitants of the south-west of the city, directly or through gardens, shops, hotels and canteens, thus helping to reduce the distance traveled by the food. In addition, we will not use pesticides or chemicals, so the farm will be a paradise for biodiversity ”.

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