A new public service

The City of Romainville attaches great importance to the issue of access for all to a quality food supply. Today, a healthy and diversified diet is expensive and too many low-income households give up because of a lack of financial means.

Urban agriculture can contribute to the fight against food injustice and help to improve the quality of the environment and to educate people about environmental and public health issues.

In order to achieve these objectives of general interest, the City has decided to create a new public service that will make a healthy and high quality diet as well as educational activities accessible to the greatest number of people in a disadvantaged area where many people today do not have the financial means to obtain them. The City has four priority neighborhoods in its urban policy, including the Marcel-Cachin district, where the Cité Maraîchère is located.

These are key issues for the Cité Maraîchère: promoting access to fresh and healthy products for low-income households, offering environmental education for all audiences and creating a place to live and meet in a neighborhood classified as a priority in the city’s policy (the Marcel-Cachin district).

Thus:

  • To give everyone access to fresh, healthy and varied products, the prices offered to residents for market garden produce and café-canteen products will be set so as to allow low- income households to buy them.
  • The rates offered to the public for educational workshops and events will also be accessible and adapted to the income of each individual.
  • The schools in the municipality will also benefit from free and/or adapted rates for workshops.
  • The Romainville social and solidarity grocery store (scheduled to open at the end of 2020) will benefit from donations of agricultural products.

In addition, in order to support the creation of training courses and modules leading to certification in the field of urban agriculture, rooms and equipment will be made available for any public teaching and/or research organization (schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, public institutes, etc.) and any public body.

The aim of the Cité Maraîchère is also to support the creation of jobs in the field of integration, to endorse the emergence of new job profiles in the developing sector of urban agriculture and to be a professional springboard. Free and/or adapted rates will be applied for any organization offering training to people in integration in fields related to urban agriculture and the activities offered in the Cité Maraîchère.

It will also be made available to any association working in the field of social issues, sustainable urban agriculture, environmental protection and awareness, healthy eating and sustainable development.

Entrance to the Cité Maraîchère © ilimelgo – Secousses

Finally, as a new public facility at the service of the local population and providing a social link, the residents and associations in the municipality will also be able to benefit from adapted rates.

The City of Romainville offers the first public service of this nature in France. In order to carry out all the activities planned in the Cité Maraîchère, the City has decided to set up a municipal board. After Mouans-Sartoux, Vannes and Firminy, Romainville’s agricultural board is the first to be launched in a dense environment and in the form of a work integration project carried out by the City.

In order to guarantee jobs for people who are unemployed, the Municipality has also decided to create an integration project (“atelier chantier d’insertion”, or “ACI”) for the operation of the Cité Maraîchère, supported by the City, combining a variety of trades with a high potential for positive output: market gardening, catering, eco-activities and reception/sales/grocery store. Once again, this is a first in France!

The first employees of the Cité Maraîchère, a fully-fledged service within the City, will be hired at the beginning of 2020, and the integration project (ACI) will be set up during the summer.