Conceived by the Mayor during the urban renewal of the Marcel-Cachin district (led by the National Agency for Urban Renewal –ANRU– between 2007 and 2017), the Cité Maraîchère will offer a unique multifunctionality in France, which will meet the needs of the district and the territory.
This vertical greenhouse, dedicated to urban agriculture, will host in one place multiple complementary activities, which will mix a wide variety of audiences with:
- A farm: production of fruit, vegetables, aromatic plants, mushrooms, edible flowers… complementary to the food supply from the surrounding rural areas sold through markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA model) and grocery stores. The Cité Maraîchère’s production, which is natural, water and energy efficient as well as environmentally friendly, will be the starting point for the development of an innovative economic sector in the area.
- Six educational gardens: these areas will see the growth of vegetable, edible and melliferous species and will help to improve biodiversity in the city.
- A restaurant area: it will provide a complementary and diversified offer around urban agriculture and sustainable food.
Processed products from these productions will be sold in the café-canteen for lunch. In the evening, a varied offer will be proposed through a culinary program which will welcome chefs in residence, project leaders, cultural associations, etc.
- Numerous educational, cultural, culinary or scientific events will be organized (display booths, conferences, round tables, meetings, seminars, readings, etc.).
- A collective composter will gather the waste from the educational activities, will also serve as an educational support and be the subject of fun and educational events.
- Spaces dedicated to education to make Romainville the laboratory of urban agriculture through awareness-raising and pedagogy actions aimed at everyone, offers of technical training in urban agriculture for amateur or specialized audiences. This place will be a showcase for innovative techniques used in urban agriculture.
- A friendly and open place to develop and strengthen social ties: it will actively participate in the life of the neighborhood as well as in the influence of the territory.
Through the diversity of its activities and audiences, the project will strengthen the social and cultural diversity of the district: this new lively place will bring together different populations and will allow for multiple exchanges between farmers, residents, consumers, researchers, professionals in the food industry, schoolchildren, students, retirees and future employees of the many urban agriculture projects that will be developed in the Greater Paris area.
The Cité Maraîchère will be the first laboratory to think and act on urban agriculture in France.