A Jardin Partagé is a shared community garden born in Lille in 1997. Since its first establishment, this phenomenon has extended across France to stimulate social relationships among the citizens and improve gardening techniques that respect biodiversity. Paris recently approved a new law, which not only allows locals to plant their own urban garden around the city, but also encourages them to develop their green thumb.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo introduced the law to incite residents to become the “gardeners of the Parisian public space”. Upon receiving a renewable three-year permit for urban gardening, locals are allowed to cultivate greenery on walls, on fences, under trees, or on rooftops. According to the law, the primary conditions of the permits are that each urban garden must use solely sustainable methods, promote biodiversity and avoid pesticides. Moreover, locals can grow flowers, vegetables or fruits as they please. Hidalgo aims to create 100 hectares of green walls and green roofs by 2020.
France appears to take a leading role for environmental issues. Considering the French parliament voted in 2015 to have all newly built roofs feature either plants or solar-energy panels, and recently forbade plastic cutlery from the table, the country is on its way to become a green utopia, and we all could learn from them.