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Local Matters / Changing Landscape

250 acres of roofs and walls to be greened in Paris by 2020

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The City of Paris recently signed a charter with 33 private companies and public institutions to green the city’s walls, roofs and other surfaces. The aim is to combat climate change while developing urban agriculture.

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, keeps delivering on her promise to green the city. She recently signed a charter with 33 private and public players formalizing their commitment to “contribute to the greening of the city” and develop urban agriculture projects. Close to 250 acres — 100 hectares — of roofs, façades, walls, parking lots and other urban surfaces will be covered in vines, creepers, shrubbery and other flora by the year 2020.

Signatories include real estate companies such as Nexity, Immobilière 3F and Bouygues Immobilier, private companies such as Monoprix and JC Decaux, cultural and public service institutions such as Opéra Bastille, Eau de Paris — the company in charge of the city’s water — and French social housing groups such as Paris Habitat, among others.

No doubt aesthetically pleasing, patches of greenery dotted around the city will also aim to “contribute to Parisian biodiversity and water management”, according to Penelope Komites, the deputy in charge of green spaces in the capital. The project will also involve devoting a third of the 250 acres to be greened to the development of pesticide-free and water efficient urban agriculture.

A press release from the City of Paris also states that the “greening of buildings and the development of urban agriculture is one of the concrete responses to the effects of greenhouse gases and is an adaptation tool to global warming”. Indeed, greening roofs reportedly improves buildings’ thermal comfort, reduces energy costs, brings down high urban temperatures and improves rainwater management.

This isn’t the first incentive of its type. Paris has been increasingly involved in greening its squares, corners and façades for the last few years. For instance, in July 2014, an initiative was launched by the City which called for residents themselves to identify and develop potential green spaces. A plan to build gardens and green building façades around the Palais Garnier may also soon go ahead.

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Andreal90

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