Inauguration of the Jardin Blanc: the City simplifies procedures for urban vegetable gardens | City of Geneva

The City of Geneva inaugurated on May 15, 2024 a new urban vegetable garden. Extending over a total surface area of ​​1700 m2 including more than 250 m2 of cultivable plots, the White Garden, designed by the design office of the Green Spaces Department, is part of the historic setting of Bertrand Park.

Managed in a participatory manner since last year by the “Cardon enchanté” association, whose creation was supported by the Agenda 21 – Sustainable City Service, it is still in the start-up phase. There are vegetables, aromatic plants and fruit trees. A hedge of berries was planted there on the occasion of the inauguration.

The flower beds, two of which are accessible to people with reduced mobility, are cultivated collectively. Nearly 40 households are already benefiting from it and the garden will also be able to accommodate local institutions (nursery, school, EMS, etc.). In end of numerous participatory workshops devoted to gardening are organized there. This project constitutes a fine example of collaboration between city services and the community community serving the well-being and social cohesion of a neighborhood.

Develop participatory urban vegetable gardens

Eating and cooking your own vegetables, discovering forgotten varieties, passing on your knowledge, enjoying little corners of nature in the city or simply enjoying an outdoor activity with your neighbors: more and more city dwellers want to garden in an urban environment.

On municipal territory, more than 80 gardening initiatives are listed by the “Genève Cultive” association, supported by the City of Geneva and which offers online mapping. The municipality wishes to strengthen its support for the creation of urban vegetable gardens or other facilities promoting biodiversity.

To this end, it offers a new “user manual”, available online, allowing you to easily submit an application and setting out the conditions to be met to launch a project. The City now guarantees a processing time for requests: a start next spring will be possible if the request is submitted before September 30. At the end of the analysis of a file, the City issues permission to use the public domain. “Genève Cultive” can also help applicants with their procedures.

New plots to identify

Although the territory of the municipality is dense, there is still potential: wastelands, courtyards, terraces, mineral areas to be revegetated, etc. The City of Geneva counts on the creativity of city dwellers to identify potential areas suitable for these projects. At the same time, it will continue to occasionally offer new spaces, such as that of the Jardin Blanc.

More generally, integrating more nature into the city is one of the objectives of the Climate Strategy as well as the “Feeding the City” program. Although the city of Geneva does not lend itself to urban agriculture producing significant volumes, urban vegetable gardens constitute, according to Alfonso Gomez, Mayor in charge of the environment, “a valuable tool for addressing the food issue. They allow you to learn by putting your hands in the ground and to develop a taste for quality, seasonal food. At the same time, in a context of climate emergency, they green and cool neighborhoods, while very concretely promoting biodiversity in the heart of the city. On a social level, they also facilitate exchanges, bring conviviality, strengthen the social fabric and the quality of life.

More information

The map of Genève Cultive’s urban vegetable gardens

Procedure for submitting a request to create an urban vegetable garden

“Feeding the City” Program

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