It’s a simple strategy with a big impact: give every citizen the right to plant, grow and harvest on any free plot of urban land. The recently passed law “permis de végétaliser” is one of many green initiatives that the current mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced. By 2020, she wants to meet her target of adding hundred hectares of green space to the cityscape of Paris by offering easier access to gardening and gardening materials to its dwellers.
Residents can apply for a three-year permit, which can easily be renewed, to garden in their local area whether it is on their rooftop or creating a vertical garden on their building wall. Permit-holders are asked to sign a charter to ensure that pesticides are avoided and sustainable gardening methods are used instead. The planting of bee-friendly plants is encouraged and urban gardeners can even request a planting kit including topsoil and seeds to help them get started with greening their local areas.
Alongside this policy to encourage micro-gardening, Paris launched a greening programme aiming to create thirty hectares of pubic gardens, plant twenty thousand new trees, and launch two hundred greening projects planting orchards and vegetable patches in schools in the city. The endeavour to green Paris offers plenty of opportunities to make the urban landscape more eco-friendly and counter pollution, however, it also benefits the wellbeing of Parisians by offering the opportunity to start their own gardening projects. Urban greening is now making its way across the country with similar permits being rolled out in other towns and cities across France.