Since January 2015, UrbAgri has been working on the construction of a green roof that includes a vegetable garden and vineyards, right in the center of Paris.
UrbAgri designed, developped and operates the rooftop garden.
The project features a rooftop artificial water table that's been adapted for viticulture and for growing fruits and vegetables on substrates created from recycled materials.
Its many innovative aspects make this experimental and productive garden a true roof ecosystem.
This is France's first rooftop viticulture projet with more than 100 vines and many substrates developped for vines growing.
The initiative was launched in response to a call for projects by the City of Paris and is part of the 100 hectares of revegetation project, answering several of the city's environmental challenges:
- Fighting heat islands;
- Limiting the deterioration of air quality;
- Managing rain water to avoid runoff onto roads;
- Providing solutions for creating biodiversity;
- Making use of surfaces by transforming inaccessible roof terraces into productive spaces.
The three key points of this project
To respond to environmental challenges, the roof offers three main features:
An artificial water table that enables responsible water management: “zero use of potable water, zero waste of rainwater.”
- Limiting runoff to avoid saturating sewer networks;
- Enhancing urban biodiversity particularly for a better agricultural production.
- Helping to humidify the substrate in order to fight heat islands.
The artificial water table can store rain water, and then return it to the earth, thus reducing the quantity of water in the urban sewer system. The water table is based on a honeycomb structure as seen in the photo.
Attention was paid to the choice of materials with the objective of recycling waste from various sectors.
The byproducts come from different sectors, including construction and the vines growing. All substrates and the materials that compose them are recycled materials and are given a second life through the project.
The topsoil and compost were provided by a center dedicated exclusively to this type of production.
Several substrates were tested on the rooftop. This experimentation will help determine which substrate and recycled materials is the best suited to the crop production.
Rooftop viticulture and crop associations
- Table and wine grapes: Pinot noir, Gamay, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chasselas, Muscat
- Fruit and vegetable production using crop associations without the use of chemical inputs.
The garden demonstrates the benefits of extensive green roofs in fighting heat islands (humidifying substrates and the air, absorbing heat from the sun), increasing biodiversity (habitat for insects and plants), and improving air quality.
Global vision of the site
The rooftop includes several different areas:
· A vineyard area that includes several different table grapes (Chasselas doré, Muscat) and wine grapes (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay);
· A vegetable garden area with seasonal productions, along with strawberry and raspberry plants.
· A technical area for seeding, experiments, etc.;
· An uncultivated flowering area with bee hives.
All of this is carried out according to the rules of environmentally friendly agriculture: no chemical inputs, use of regional varieties, composting carried out using onsite waste, crop associations, respect for the seasons, seeds produced from organic farming, etc.
We want to thank Antoine, Marion and Clémentine for their involvement, tenacity and motivation in the design and implementation of the project.
The first strawberries are delicious!