greening paris

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here is a project that combines social sustainability, green design AND urban landscaping.  when you’ve found a way to bridge these three things, you’re doing something right…  the POTOGREEN project isn’t just about beautifying the Paris streets, it goes way beyond what meets the eye and tells an entirely different kind of story. headed by artist paule kingleur, over 335,000 Parisian posts were reclaimed in the name of urban landscaping!

the first layer of the POTOGREEN project is the actual planters.  they are made from recycled milk cartons (used for durability and for being a non-leaky material) as well as fabric, that has been recovered from tents that are made by people undergoing rehabilitation at Emmaus.  these two factors right here already cover the social sustainability aspect AND the green aspect.  i have read about other sustainable projects that work with people with disabilities or people in rehabilitation, like these cilindros by blindesign. 

 a project that has it’s roots in social sustainability not only helps bring income and opportunity to these people, but it also gives them something to participate in – something global that they can feel connected to.  many of these people are become easily marginalized, and involvement in such a project can do amazing things for self-esteem.

a third layer of the POTOGREEN project is community involvement – the team worked with 600 children to fill and decorate the flower pots and everyone is encouraged to partake in this “greening” of Paris, not only children.  the children get to learn about the benefits of gardening while seeing what they have planted outdoors, beyond their schools.  this kind of public art is a really cool idea to encourage Parisians (really, anyone) to have pride in their city.  this is not to say that they don’t have pride already, but it’s just another way to connect citizens on a ground level – through the medium of green design and social sustainability.  ohhhh just another reason to visit Paris!

- smiley