Connectivity of green and blue infrastructures: living veins for biodiverse and healthy cities

Paris

Taxonomic group

Bats

Bees

Birds

Lichens

Vegetation

Paris

In Paris parks, BIOVEINS researchers will study vegetation, bees and wasps, birds, bats, and lichens.

Paris is the largest city in Europe. It is also very old. The island in the middle of the Seine, which traverses Paris, was first settled by the Parisii, a Celtic tribe, who traded with other tribes across Europe. The Romans conquered the area in 52 BC and settled the Rive Gauche, the south bank of the Seine. The Frankish kings were the first of a long succession of kings to make their capital in Paris. The center of Paris is a UNESCO world heritage site. The modern city as we know it emerged in the 1800s. Under Napoleon III, Baron von Haussmann oversaw the construction of wide boulevards, new infrastructure (e.g. sewers, what we call Blue Infrastructure in this project), and parks such as the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois du Boulogne (Green Infrastructure). It was also expanded to include many more arrondissements. By the 1860s, Paris had adopted gas lamps in the streets.

Public gardens and parks in Paris are often in a "French formal garden" style, reflecting their histories. For example, the Luxembourg Gardens were first created in 1611-1612 and still reflect many of the formal ornamental features such as symmetrical patterned flower beds. The Jardin des Plantes or Botanical Garden, planted in 1635, was originally a medicinal herb garden, and in addition to decorative flower beds and alleys of trees still has a botanical garden and an alpine garden, among others. In such parks one is generally not allowed to sit or stand on the grass. Other animals, though, have plenty of space! In Parisian public parks you can find bird houses, wild bee hotels, heaps of cut grass for reptiles to hide in, and uncut sections of grass and wildflowers.

Among major cities in Europe, Paris has the third highest percent of green areas (23.2%), and the city has many innovative and exciting projects to improve urban biodiversity and Parisiens' connection to nature in city parks. You can find out more about urban biodiversity initiatives in Paris here: paris.fr/actualites/faites-le-paris-de-la-biodiversite-5766

Paris BIOVEINS is a research project funded by BiodivERsA, a European H2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme, Grant Number H2020 BiodivERsA32015104.