With Seven Days of Events, Paris Takes the Lead in Going Green


The "Ville Fertile" exhibit, at the Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, at Trocadero, in Paris. Photo: Alex Davies

On Friday, France wrapped up its Week of Sustainable Development - seven days of exhibits, workshops, lectures and tours designed to educate the public about the myriad ways the country is going green. I was in Paris for some of the week, and got a first hand look at how the City is actively working towards a sustainable future. I've covered some of Paris' higher-profile green projects, including the redesign of the banks of the Seine River and the renovation of the Les Halles shopping center into a pedestrian haven. But, as the theme of this year's Week was "Changing Our Behavior," most of the City's events focused on much more everyday (dare I say pedestrian?) green behaviors. Free workshops were offered on composting, gardening at home, and how best to shop for produce.

The City is also emphasizing its green spaces- encouraging community gardens and designating lots of small parks for "ecological management." It's experimenting with wind power- the roof of a museum in the North of the City is part of a study to see if wind turbines could effectively be placed on many Parisian roofs.


A community garden in the 14th arrondissement. Photo: Alex Davies

But among the showcasing of all of these commendable efforts, the Week of Sustainable Development also had some pizazz. This came in the form of two exhibits examining how Paris and other cities would look if they could not just bring green spaces into the urban space, but truly integrate the two. One, "+2º: Paris s'invente!", produced a utopian image of the City in the year 2100, and came up with some very cool ideas.


Image: © Yannick Gourvil et Cécile Leroux, collectif et alors

The second exhibit was called "Ville Fertile: Towards an Urban Nature," at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, in the 16th arrondissement. Centered on 2011 rather than 2100, it featured the efforts of cities around the world to harmonize urban and green spaces. Examples included New York City's High Line and an in-the-work "linear forest" in Northeast Paris.

Overall, it was a great week's worth of events, showcasing how Paris is already ahead of the game in terms of sustainability and has its eyes focused on the even more sustainable future. Here's looking forward to next year!

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More green events from other cities:
10 Green Events During Fashion's Night Out in New York City
Don't Miss the End of New York City Wildflower Week
Art Exhibit and Festival See off Earth Week in Buenos Aires

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