a landscape lover's blog

garden tales from a Brit at home and abroad

Climate change à la Parisienne

Most people think about climate change with either skepticism or despair. In a new campaign, the mairie de Paris is trying to introduce a third response: optimism.

Paris s'invente !

Vegetable plots in rue la Boëtie, designed by collectif et alors. Image from http://www.paris.fr

A group of architects, collectif et alors, has imagined how Paris would respond to a rise in temperatures of 2 degrees. The results, presented as twenty postcards, show how courage and investment could transform the city into a slower, calmer, greener place. An old canal near Bastille is exposed again after years of being diverted underground. The walls, roofs and passageways of tower blocks in the 13th are thickly planted with greenery. Private cars have vanished (a common theme in most plans by mayor Bernard Delanöe) to be replaced by tramways and barges, which bring deliveries to the grands magasins. Vegetable gardens spring up in the fertile soil currently buried under the concrete of rue la Boëtie in the 8th (recalling the royal nurseries that once were cultivated there). Green, shady spaces welcome pedestrians and cyclists around the Hotel de Ville. Everywhere from the Seine to the Tour Montparnasse is redesigned to provide renewable energy for the city’s inhabitants.

As my husband remarked, the images are so deliberately Utopian that you almost want the climate to change more quickly.

You can learn more about the campaign +2°C… Paris s’invente ! on the city’s website, or in an open-air exhibition in the parc de Bercy, until 31 January.

Parc de Bercy exhibition

4 comments on “Climate change à la Parisienne

  1. Lula Alvarez
    January 4, 2011

    This post is interesting and I’m reading about ideas on how to redefine green in urban contexts. I’m particulary interested in vertical gardens an urban farming. Your phot for teh bonned fêtes wishes was beauty and very appropriate to the seasona an all the snow we had in past weeks. I’ll fave you to keep reading your thoughts! Lula

    • landscapelover
      January 4, 2011

      thanks for the comment. I hope to blog more this year on environmentalism: having written professionally on sustainability in landscape design (and completed a masters on climate change and historic gardens), it’s an issue close to my heart.
      if you’re interested in urban farming, I’d recommend the book “Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities,” edited by Andre Viljoen. Terrible title – but full of interesting ideas!

      • Lula Alvarez
        January 5, 2011

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll include it in my to read list. I come from the museum world, but I feel an urge to switch to some more “livable” topics. Best, Lula

  2. Adam
    January 5, 2011

    A funny idea, but I like the way it shows how adaptable to change cities can be. Any mention of the return of significant wine production in Paris? +2° should help that!

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2011 by in Modern design, Paris and tagged , , , , .

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