France: Paris suburbs develops urban farming

Following the success of the Agricool strawberry containers, the town of Asnieres wants to transform more roofs of public buildings into vegetable plots and increase the number of greenhouses. Thierry Sellier, the Deputy Mayor responsible for the project says that “In Montreal, 10% of agricultural consumption is produced in town. We are far from that, but we hope to close in on such a model”. 
The town would need to use large, flat rooftops. The rooftops of almost all schools fulfil the requirements and the students would obviously be involved, “Our aim is to raise awareness of agriculture and show them that it is possible to farm differently”. Another potential site is an urban development zone in the Quartier de Seine, which has a 7,000m2 terrain that could be converted. Thierry Sellier says that “It is the perfect place!”. The designs have yet to be determined, but transparent greenhouses would be chosen to attract attention of passing cars. The same method would also be used a few hundred metres away next to the Rosa Bonheur, Quai du Docteur-Dervaux. 
New Agricool containers could also be constructed and school visits of the container at Halle Flachat will soon be organised. Mr Sellier explains that “We want to install them in all of the neighbourhoods. The start-up wants to diversify their production with carrots and salad.” All of these projects are just in the starting blocks and the Mairie is meeting with many innovative start ups. A call for projects will be launched in early 2018 for the first instalments.

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