Paris is cutting back on its carbon footprint by growing its own produce right in the heart of the city by launching an urban rooftop farm, just minutes from the Eiffel Tower.

Porte de Versailles in the 15th arrondissement, a sprawling cultural complex just 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, is the site of a new urban rooftop farm, reported to be the world's largest. The first phase opened in May, after a two-month delay caused by the lockdown, with the farm operating as a green paradise of produce to feed the city. What's more, Le Perchoir, Paris's renowned chain of rooftop venues, has opened a bar and restaurant on the panoramic terrace, with a farm-to-fork menu that includes produce grown on site.

French chef of the Perchoir restaurant, Jeremy Claudepierre poses in a kitchen
Jeremy Claudepierre poses in a kitchen of Perchoir restaurant ©Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

 Occupying 14,000 square metres of space (about the size of two football pitches) the farm will be home to more than 20 market gardens providing more than 2000 pounds of fruit and vegetables a day in season, from about 30 different varieties of plants. The plants will grow vertically through aeroponic farming, a soil-free method of farming that uses a solution of nutrient-rich mist and rainwater to nourish the produce. Using only 10% of the water needed in traditional agricultural settings, it's - according to experts - a more sustainable method of farming

Staff at work in Paris' new rooftop farm
Founder Paschal Hardy on the left, and staff pictured picking strawberries on the right ©Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Taking things up a notch, the farm, known as Nature Urbaine, will offer not just produce but a range of services related to urban agriculture such as educational tours and team-building workshops for companies. To foster a proper community spirit, local residents will be able to secure about 140 vegetable plots of their own.

Rendering of rows of vegetable plots in a Paris urban rooftop farm
Locals can lease vegetable plots with 140 spaces up for grabs ©Viparis

Viparis, the people behind Porte de Versailles, teamed up with two companies specialising in urban agriculture, Agripolis and Cultures en Ville, to bring the rooftop farm to life. Agripolis operate the farm, while Cultures en Ville handles services and events. They hope that the farm will bring communities together and provide low-carbon food to homes and restaurants in southern Paris.

Strawberries in bloom
Strawberries in bloom at Nature Urbaine ©Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

"By installing working farms on the sites we operate, we are helping to foster environmental and economic resilience in tomorrow's cities. This is our guiding principle," said Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, the CEO of Viparis. "To this end, the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles site will supply restaurants in the complex, primarily Le Perchoir, but also residents of southern Paris and neighbouring municipalities, either directly or through distribution, company canteens and hotels."

To stay updated on Nature Urbaine's news and events, see here.

This article was first published on November 4th, 2019 and updated on August 4th, 2020.

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This article was first published Nov 4, 2019 and updated Aug 4, 2020.

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