The roof terrace of Pavilion 6 at the Expo Porte de Versailles in Paris will become the largest urban garden in Europe in 2022, with a surface area of 14,000 m² where more than 30 different types of plant species will be grown organically. This space will be free of pesticides and chemical products that will also favor urban biodiversity. The plants will be grown using hydroponics, a cultivation technique where the plants grow on a coconut fiber substrate, and aeroponics, where the roots of the plants are suspended in mid-air (and protected from contamination by an isolated circuit) and the plant grows vertically.
According to the Agripolis and Cultures en Ville companies, which are designing this green project, the project will produce 1,000 kilos of fruits and vegetables a day, which will be sold to the neighborhood and to local businesses. In addition, this green roof will contribute to minimizing the carbon footprint in a country where the average distance that food travels is about 1,200 kilometers.
The urban garden will have 22 gardeners, a space for events, and a restaurant where people will be able to consume the fresh and seasonal foods produced there. In addition, there will be 135 plots for rent. Renting a 1-squared-meter surface to grow food at this 15 meter-high garden will cost 320 euro a year.
Green cities in Europe
Paris is a city that has already undertaken various urban greening initiatives. The city committed itself via the Parisculteurs project to planting 100 hectares, and in June 2015 it passed a law that allowed anyone who wished to carry out greening activities do so in their immediate surroundings (walls, facades, sidewalks, etc.).
Paris isn't the only city that has bet on the resurgence of urban agriculture on its streets and rooftops. Other well-known examples are the City Farm, in Tokyo, or the Brooklyn Grange, New York's largest urban garden which encourages sustainable agriculture on the roof of industrial buildings on Northern Boulevard. Some examples of urban gardens in Spain are the Hotel Wellington's roof garden in Madrid or the green roofs of Barcelona, among others.