A Vegetable Garden for Paris

In the last years, the urban sprawl phenomenon has particularly affected our peri-urban agricultural areas. Due to the growth of our cities and consequent strong demand in housing, farmland disappears each year more and more. This has become a source of growing social, ecological and cultural concern. The case of the peri-urban farmland of Saclay in France is a good example of this problem.
Located on top of a plateau, Saclay is one of the largest agricultural areas within the outskirts of Paris. The area is part of the Grand Paris urban plan and in the near future will become the ‘French Silicon Valley’, a cluster of research and science. This place has both an agricultural and a heritage interest. Despite their industrial practices, the farmers of Saclay has been seeking to get closer to the consumer. They formed community-supported agriculture associations and are greatly appreciated by people. They also have been protesting against the urbanisation of their fertile lands with the support of public opinion. If people are keen to protect Saclay, it is because this place is a landscape heritage. Indeed, back in the time, the water system of Saclay and its aquaduct used to provide water for the fountains of Versailles. The ambition of this project is to make Saclay a meaningful agricultural landscape for the metropolis, instead of being a building reserve. This project will investigate how fresh food production can be a driving force for peri-urban areas.