Paris just passed a new law that allows anyone to plant an urban garden within the city’s limits. Upon receiving a permit, gardeners can grow plants on walls, in boxes, on rooftops, under trees, or on fences. They can cultivate greenery in front of their homes or offices. They can grow flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s goal is to create 100 hectares of living walls and green roofs by the year 2020, with one third of that greenery dedicated to agriculture.
Locals are encouraged to be “gardeners of the Parisian public space” under the new law. Gardeners must use sustainable methods, avoiding pesticides and promoting biodiversity in the city. They are asked to sign a “Charter of revegetation” and grow “local honey plants,” and they will need to maintain their urban gardens and ensure the greenery enhances the city’s aesthetic. The City of Paris will issue the three-year permits, with the option to renew them.
The city asked residents to get creative with where they grow plants, and it will contribute a “planting kit” with seeds and topsoil. They say they’ve offered a few suggestions, but mainly hope people will use their imagination for where they might be able to green the city. Paris city officials hope the law will improve the quality of life for city dwellers and boost the beauty of the city. Assistant to the Mayor of Paris Penelope Komitès also said cultivating the gardens could help locals strengthen relationships with their neighbors and “create social links.”