Many people throw around the term “environmental sustainability” with no intention of discovering what it means or how it could impact their daily life. But the mayor of Paris is serious about it, and that passion shows in the city’s slow overhaul.
Rooftop farming is becoming increasingly popular in places such as Paris, New York, Tokyo and London, with many companies opting to turn their formerly-unused roof space into an agricultural haven that somewhat softens the industrialism of the bustling metropolis.
The urban garden on one Parisian post office building has become a huge success, with some 30 employees volunteering in the garden to help grow vegetables and even breed chickens.
Taking place on the roof of Post Office La Chapelle in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, the project is called Facteur Graine, which translates to “seed postman”.
And we’re not talking about a row of potted plants, either; according to Euronews, nearly 90 tonnes of soil has been deposited on the roof of the postal building to help transform it into the ideal space for such a venture.
One volunteer interviewed for the Euronews article says Facteur Graine is helping her reconnect with nature. “Looking after little things … every day can help you enjoy life more. We’re in front of computers so often, we live in a virtual world, so doing these little things helps people reconnect with each other, with the living.”
Paris City Hall has estimated that the city will be home to “more than 100 hectares of rooftop gardens and planted walls” by the year 2020. A third of those gardens will be dedicated to urban farming.
Urban gardens aren’t just a romantic throwback or a way to embrace nature, either; according to a Vogue article, cities including Baltimore, Austin, Seattle, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago “have all adopted zoning codes, tax breaks, and other financial easements for urban gardens”. Detroit’s mission to repurpose 30 square miles of vacant lots has produced more than 1,5000 urban gardens.
It’s only a matter of time before even more cities around the world jump on board and begin to reshape the world we live in with a little patch of green.