City of Lights, City of Earth

The City of Lights is quickly gaining a reputation for also being a city of clean air, roof top gardens, and bee friendly living. 

Already hard at work to green up their living space, Parisians can boast of their cities 82 parks and 60 community gardens, roof top gardens, and roof top beehives. Fortunately, they aren't stopping there and have several initiatives in the works. 

1. Expanded Rooftop Gardens. 

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By 2020, Paris will have planted more than 80,000 square yards of roof top gardens. Roof gardens were popular nearly 100 years ago as they greatly assist with interior climate control; it's only in the last decade they have again come into fashion. Added bonuses include being beautiful and cycling CO2. 

2. Paris Breathes: no car days

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Photo Credit: pbs.org

When air pollution peaked this last March, Paris's mayor Anne Hidalgo got very serious about the issue of air quality in the city. Last Sunday marked the first "no car day" along certain parts of the city, opening the Champs Elysee and more to pedestrian traffic only.  Citizens and some officials point out that there's no need for cars in Paris. They have an extensive metro system, bike rentals for those who don't own a bike, and broad, easy to walk avenues. The city now has a goal of periodically shutting down streets to car traffic on a regular basis, at least as frequently as once a month. 

3. Swimming in the Seine

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Perhaps attached to the city's bid to host 2024 Olympics, Hidalgo's office promises the Seine will again be swimable by 2014. Reaching peak pollution in 1970, the famous Parisian water way has already undergone significant improvement. (But aside from the famous yearly race once hosted in the river- WHY would you want to hop in?)

4. Window box seeds

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Anyone who has visited Paris in the summer knows the beauty and great care of Parisian window boxes. As both an effort to greenify and beautify the city, this year, over 20,000 flower seeds were passed out to residents. 

5. Rooftop bees

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Photo Credit: UntappedCities.com

Your favorite Parisian buildings might just house more than art, fashion or food. Many rooftops in Paris are already home to extensive beehives. Parisian roof top honey is valued as a commodity luxury item in Japan, and used for more than food in the city. Seen as a possible allergy treatment, some salons and spas offer 'honey facials' to help tourist and citizens adjust to local pollens. Also, it is thought the bees actually do better in the city than in agricultural stretches of monocultures. Hop over here to see a video of Parisian bees on PronouncingFrench.com. 

 

From the bottom of our hearts, we are delighted at how many efforts are in the works for the beautiful city.