Skip to content

You are using an outdated browser

Internet Explorer is not supported by this site and Microsfot has stopped releasing updates, therefore you may encounter issues whilst visiting this site and we strongly recommend that you upgrade your browser for modern web functionality, a better user experience and improved security.

Upgrade my browser

The citizens of Paris are planting gardens in the street

4 min read

Better Society
The citizens of Paris are planting gardens in the street
Source: Facebook/WorldEconomicForum

Paris licences its ‘citizen gardeners to vegetate all you want’ as one of several initiatives to increase the amount of green space in the city by 100,000 hectares by 2020.

The citizens of Paris are planting gardens in the street

In June 2015, Paris launched an unusual green initiative. Essentially, the programme is a licence for citizens to ‘vegetate as much as you want‘. The licenses, issued by the city, mean Parisian ‘citizen-gardeners’ are permitted to vegetate the capital in various ways. Whether this take the form of planting fruit trees, planting on walls, in the soil at the feet of trees, posts or boxes, it doesn’t matter. All are fair game.

The city is also planting 20,000 trees Since June 30, 2015, the Paris Greening Permit has provided some 3000 Parisians with an opportunity to get involved in “greening the city”. Thanks to this programme, every Parisian can become a gardener for a local, otherwise barren, site of their choice. Source: Facebook/WorldEconomicForum

Parisian ‘citizen-gardeners’ are being encouraged to plant up the smaller spaces in the city

Since June 30, 2015, the Paris Greening Permit has provided some 3000 of its citizens with an opportunity to get involved in ‘greening the city’. Thanks to this programme, every Parisian can become a gardener for a local, otherwise barren, site of their choice.

There are almost no limits to the scheme, named Végétalisons Paris. Locations have been found in all kinds of public space: under trees, on rooftops, quiet spots by fences and walls – all ideas are welcomed. 

The idea is that by installing window boxes to grow tomatoes, or by using bare earth by a tree trunk to grow flowers, or by planting a climbing plant on a wall, people can combine their efforts to green the whole city.

Source: GreenInfrasctructureConsultancy


Green walls and green roofs have increased on new developments in the city. Such projects demonstrate Paris’ commitment to becoming a truly green city. However, it is particularly this new commitment to capture the spirit and imagination of the average citizen that may well be a world first.
Intensive green roof beside La Promenade Plantée Green walls and green roofs have increased on new developments in the city. Such projects demonstrate Paris’ commitment to becoming a truly green city. However, it is particularly this new commitment to capture the spirit and imagination of the average citizen that may well be a world first. Source: LivingRoofs.org
If Parisians want to do something in their private building courtyard, they can go ahead with greening of course. And if they want to do a project in a private place they do not own, they will have to contact the owner. Public open spaces like parks and squares are not covered by the permit.
The Greening Permit is not available for private spaces If Parisians want to do something in their private building courtyard, they can go ahead with greening of course. And if they want to do a project in a private place they do not own, they will have to contact the owner. Public open spaces like parks and squares are not covered by the permit. Source: vegetalisons.paris.fr
In order to pursue a project, Parisians must gain prior authorisation from the City of Paris. Permits can be applied for on line. The application includes a few questions, including the identity of the applicant, the location of the proposal and a description of the project.
The scheme is aimed at public space not maintained as greenspace In order to pursue a project, Parisians must gain prior authorisation from the City of Paris. Permits can be applied for on line. The application includes a few questions, including the identity of the applicant, the location of the proposal and a description of the project. Source: GreenInfrastructureConsultancy
Advice is provided on locally appropriate plants (there is a list provided on the website). Licensees must maintain their project and must not use pesticides. If the City of Paris agrees to the proposal, applicants receive their permits and can put their projects in place. Each permit is valid for 3 years and can be extended for up to for 12 years.
Applicants also have to agree to a few conditions Advice is provided on locally appropriate plants (there is a list provided on the website). Licensees must maintain their project and must not use pesticides. If the City of Paris agrees to the proposal, applicants receive their permits and can put their projects in place. Each permit is valid for 3 years and can be extended for up to for 12 years. Source: VegetalisonsParis
If people need advice or want to learn about  gardening, they can go to a ‘Gardening House’ where professional gardeners are available to help. In addition, meetings are organised to talk about projects, innovative ideas and sources of finance.
The City also provides gardeners with seed and soil for their project If people need advice or want to learn about  gardening, they can go to a ‘Gardening House’ where professional gardeners are available to help. In addition, meetings are organised to talk about projects, innovative ideas and sources of finance. Source: Paris/MatthewSoursourian
It especially wants to see imaginative installations, whether these are planters along fences, on facades or even vegetated street furniture.
The city wants to harness the creativity of citizens It especially wants to see imaginative installations, whether these are planters along fences, on facades or even vegetated street furniture. Source: Paris/LaurenceMille
The French capital has already set a target to increase the amount of green space in the city by 100,000 hectares by 2020. There is an aim that a third of these new spaces will be devoted to urban agriculture. To help the administration to reach this target, ‘citizen-gardeners’ are being encouraged to plant up the smaller spaces in the city.
Unlike other large international cities, Paris has a lack of green space The French capital has already set a target to increase the amount of green space in the city by 100,000 hectares by 2020. There is an aim that a third of these new spaces will be devoted to urban agriculture. To help the administration to reach this target, ‘citizen-gardeners’ are being encouraged to plant up the smaller spaces in the city. Source: Paris/GiuliaDenis
Make an Impact

10 Easy Ways to Bring More Plants Into Your Life

Craving a connection with nature? Start with bringing more plants into your day! There are tons of achievable ways to get a little more nature into your life. Here are 10 worthwhile ways to make a meaningful connection with the natural world, from HomeForTheHarvest.