Which are France’s Greenest Cities?

24 May 2017

60% of the French people believe that the top priority for public authorities should be the creation of new Parks and Gardens – and many towns have already understood that revegetation is important both for the inhabitants and to make urban areas more attractive. Hortis and the Unep have analysed this new trend. So come on a Tour de France to visit these towns going green...


Revegetation - a challenge for urban communities

  For Hortis and the Unep, “Parks and Gardens provide an intelligent and sustainable solution to many of today’s problems”. Plants do many good things for the environment including improving air quality, contributing to the good health of the population – and its wellbeing. 80% of the French people believe that Parks and Gardens guarantee a good quality of life. Plants improve the attractiveness of surroundings as the multiplication of eco-tourism projects proves. And, of course they create sustainable jobs. Revegetation is relatively inexpensive – about 46.5€ a year per inhabitant – and many public authorities have decided to invest to meet the needs of their local population. Fauna and flora are the guests of many French towns now!  

The top 3 Green Cities in France

  1. Angers, space for green spaces

Today, 14% of the city is parkland! One thing to highlight is the budget dedicated to revegetation - 67€ per year and per inhabitant in all 3.5 % of the total municipal expenditure! With a budget like that, the town can “fight against the disappearance of the fauna and flora locally”. 300 mini gardens and 50 GreenPods have been created.  

  1. Nantes, “the Green Star”

By the figures Nantes is the French Green City champion, with:

  • 69€ spent per year and per inhabitant on revegetating the city ;
  • 100 gardens and 110 new collaborative projects accompanied by the town.

The town launched the “a town in a garden” project with the idea of linking the 100 parks together to form a park network and give every inhabitant the opportunity to have a garden closer from home than 300m. The locals participate in the “Green Star” project and decided on 110 revegetation projects!  

  1. Strasbourg, life-size

Plants create social bonds and Strasbourg has understood this fact. The city aims to connect “biodiversity and solidarity, plants and citizenship”. Everyone backs the plan to improve the quality of life in Strasbourg – even businesses! Local companies were invited to sign the “All together for biodiversity” charter agreeing to manage their parks and gardens in a more responsible way. And in Strasbourg, Parks and Garden management has already been ecological for 9 years!  

Many new French urban landscaping ideas continue to germinate - for example, the development of green façades and roofs, ephemeral theme gardens and the creation of shared gardens. France is definitely greening – and will continue to do so for a long time to come!  

(1)Figures from a study carried out by Hortis and Unep: Les villes les plus vertes de France, 2017

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