But what is exactly urban farming? Be it agricultural, cultivated or breeding areas, urban farming is at the core of cities and offers numerous services beyond its nourishing function. For instance, it helps the creation and continuation of social bonds between inhabitants or be a tool to sensitize to ecological and food issues. It also represents a mean to improve life quality in cities by bringing more nature or constitute a leverage of economic integration, by training and hiring workers usually out of the working market.
Thus, it represents an opportunity for districts in renovation that needs to renew their attractivity. That is why Lille Metropole decided through the “Fertile Districts”, a device funded by the National Agency for Urban Renovation (ANRU – Agence Nationale de Renouvellement Urbain) to support 4 project holders with different profiles:
- The Pépinière from Faubourg d’Arras in Lille, managed by the Growsters company: a structure part of the social and solidary economy that aims to (re)develop agro ecological and subsistence crops in the city. Under the tree nursery roof, it offers aromatic and floral edible plants to the residents. A pedagogical garden and a micro-garden will also welcome inhabitants to take a breath of fresh air, garden or meet each others.
- The Tinctoriales association, located South of Lille wants to create “vegetal color” in an ecological and territory-friendly way. With experimental gardens and plants transformation workshops, the association wishes to broaden the knowledge about tinctoriales plants and promote our territory’s textile industrial past. By offering a place for learning and networking, the Tinctoriales wishes to bond again with the traditional practices and know-how.
- La Cuisine de Jeanette in Bois Blancs district focuses on giving a second chance to fruits and vegetables by transforming them into long conservation products. Working with disabled, la Cuisine de Jeanette promotes social inclusivity and bonds creation, to provide its team with trust. Together, they promote a sustainable and healthy food by involving local actors.
- The Fabrique de l’Emploi encompasses an urban farm and the solidary gardens of "Loos les Oliveaux" neighborhood. Revitalise a fragile district, transform a former football stadium in an agricultural space, accompany inhabitants in a pedagogical dynamic, those are the key words of this ambitious project. Made possible by the “Zero unemployed territory” financiary device, that recruits inhabitants of the district without academical training, it offers the latter a new future. Residents can thus reclaim their district in the same time as acquiring a professional expertise and developing the agricultural development of the municipality.