Urban agriculture on the move in Paris: The routes of temporary gardening in the neoliberal city
Mobile agricultural initiatives are developing in and around Paris, as land resources become increasingly rare, especially in the most central areas. While some forms of breeding (like bee-keeping) are compatible with mobility, it is surprising to see that mobility now also applies to types of agriculture that are traditionally considered as sedentary. This article highlights the fact that urban vegetable gardens struggle to find a permanent location in the neoliberal city. Set up preferentially on vacant urban lots, they do not seem to carry any weight compared to building projects. Some initiatives have nevertheless come to terms with this precariousness of access to land and have adapted to it by taking advantage of technologies that allow for a translocation of gardens. We show that challenges to the sedentary nature of urban gardening is correlated with the emergence of temporary urbanism, dedicated here to uses of urban vacant lots before building starts on them. This is a new form of public action. This “temporary gardened urbanism” is suited to the neoliberal city’s injunctions insofar as it reflects the commodification of urban rhythms and spaces, and ultimately leads to the mobility of gardens – the only process that guarantees their survival.
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