The ring road at the Porte des Lilas created a disconnect between two neighborhoods, so the city of Paris sought to bring them together. A design competition yielded a successful plan from local firm Territoires, who proposed bridging the gap with a new urban garden. The project is organized around a large open area in the center that includes a dedicated lawn and a wild meadow area. The center also holds a large pond which collects rainwater runoff (in addition to a large underground tank, which stores water for irrigation).
Jardin Serge Gainsbourg provides a variety of spaces for all sorts of activities including play, relaxation, reading, socializing and recreation. A pathway meanders from one side to the other to connect the neighborhoods and the spaces in the park together. A convenient bus stop serves the neighborhoods and encourages more pedestrian activity. The garden was completed in 2011 and it’s a great model for how cities can take back space for the people despite the need for transportation infrastructure.
Images ©Nicolas Waltefaugle