Susturbanfoods

Integrated sustainability assessment of social and technological innovations towards urban food systems

Case study: AgroParisTech rooftop garden – Paris, France

Location: Paris, France

Typology: Rooftop garden

Urban area: Inner city – Rooftop

Innovation type: Technological innovation

Main functions: Experimental research – Education and training – Resource-efficient food production

Users: Researchers – Companies – Students – Citizens

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

The rooftop garden of AgroParisTech (French Technical University of Agronomy) started in 2012 with the experiment T4P (Toits Parisiens Productifs, a pilot project of Parisian Productive Rooftops). The project aimed at conceiving and evaluating cultural systems based only on urban waste as the substrate. In the project, the reseatch team looked at (i) food production potential, (ii) food pollution), (iii) expected ecosystem services and (iv) Technosol evolution. The garden design is based on cultivation boxes, which are made of wooden containers classically used as backyard composters. Such design was chosen for experimental advantages (better control of conditions, easier measurements) and for providing a modular and flexible design for its implementation in other rooftops. Furthermore, the wooden boxes were cheap and easy to build, enhancing its potential diffusion to other gardens in Paris.

AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: Lettuce – Cherry tomatoes – Green manures – Tomatoes – Carrots – Onions – Cabbage – Beans – Spinach – Basil – Zucchini – Radish – Màche (lamb’s lettuce) – Mesclun (salad mix) – Garlic

Techniques: Organic substrate production

Irrigation: Automatic irrigation with tap water

Use of renewable resources: Use of urban wastes as substrate (green waste compost, coffee grounds, smashed bricks) – Rainwater use

Sustainable practices: Organic production – Use of pollinators – Pesticides-free production – Runoff water management – Crop association practices – Green manuring

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LINKS

 

AVAILABLE LITERATURE:

  • Grard, B. (2017). Des Technosols construits à partir de produits résiduaires urbains: services écosystémiques fournis et évolution(Doctoral dissertation, Université Paris-Saclay).
  • Grard, B. J. P., Bel, N., Marchal, N., Madre, F., Castell, J. F., Cambier, P., … & Chenu, C. (2015). Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society3(1), 21-34.
  • Grard, B. J. P., Chenu, C., Manouchehri, N., Houot, S., Frascaria-Lacoste, N., & Aubry, C. (2018). Rooftop farming on urban waste provides many ecosystem services. Agronomy for Sustainable Development38(1), 2.
  • Joimel, S., Grard, B., Auclerc, A., Hedde, M., Le Doaré, N., Salmon, S., & Chenu, C. (2018). Are Collembola “flying” onto green roofs?. Ecological Engineering111, 117-124.
  • Dorr, E., Sanyé-Mengual, E., Gabrielle, B., Grard, B. J., & Aubry, C. (2017). Proper selection of substrates and crops enhances the sustainability of Paris rooftop garden. Agronomy for Sustainable Development37(5), 51.
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