Pilot site

Vegetable rooftop at AgroParisTech

AgroParisTech's experimental rooftop has been used since 2012 to design urban agriculture systems in rooftop boxes, using urban residues as components of technosols, with the aim of studying the services provided by vegetable gardens on rooftops.

The Bertrand Ney roftop at AgroParisTech (Claude Bernard site) was the experimental site for Baptiste Grard’s PhD thesis project until 2017. His research work aimed to study, from a physical, chemical and biological point of view, rooftop culture systems based on technosols (i.e. soils reconstituted by humans from materials of anthropogenic origin) composed entirely of urban residues (compost, brick, mushroom farm residue, etc.), in order to better understand the evolution of their characteristics and their effectiveness in providing a certain number of services over time. Within a green roof, technosol is in fact the basis of most of the ecosystem services provided, including that of food production. It is therefore a key point in the sustainability of productive rooftops that are built from recycled materials.

The PhD thesis also aimed to assess the ecosystem services provided by a productive rooftop of this type. The goal was to provide the tools and knowledge necessary for their implementation as part of the sustainable development of buildings in an urban environment.

Rooftop vegetated garden at AgroParisTech in Paris

Thomas Haden, Research Engineer, was recruited in 2018 at AgroParisTech for a one-year fixed-term contract during which a new phase of experiments was launched with new urban organic waste products. 15 tonnes of old substrates had to be evacuated while around ten tonnes of new substrates and material were delivered. In total, about fifty boxes were reconditioned in order to conduct various experiments until 2021.

Christine Aubry
Senior Associate Researcher and Consultant Professor
Erica Dorr
PhD Student
Patrick Stella
Senior Lecturer and Researcher
Scientific publications
Journal articles
Sophie Joimel, Baptiste Grard, Apolline Auclerc, Mickael Hedde et al. Are Collembola “flying” onto green roofs?
Ecological Engineering, 2018, 111, pp.117-124. ⟨10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.12.002⟩
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Journal articles
Baptiste Grard, Claire Chenu, Nastaran Manouchehri, Sabine Houot et al. Rooftop farming on urban waste provides many ecosystem services
Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2018, 38 (1), ⟨10.1007/s13593-017-0474-2⟩
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Baptiste Grard Des Technosols construits à partir de produits résiduaires urbains : services écosystémiques fournis et évolution, Productive Technosol made of urban waste : delivered ecosystem services and evolution
Ecologie, Environnement. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLA043⟩
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Journal articles
Erica Dorr, Esther Sanye-Mengual, Benoit Gabrielle, Baptiste Grard et al. Proper selection of substrates and crops enhances the sustainability of Paris rooftop garden
Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2017, 37 (5), pp.31-51. ⟨10.1007/s13593-017-0459-1⟩
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Journal articles
Baptiste Grard, N. Bel, N. Marchal, N. Madre et al. Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden
Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, 2015, 3 (1), pp.21-34
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A simplified life-cycle assessment tool will allow decision makers to assess the sustainability of urban agriculture projects and guide the design and management of these projects.
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Practitioner group
Bertrand Ney Rooftop at AgroParisTech
The benefits and costs related to green infrastructure in cities need to be better understood through assessment tools that measure environmental impacts, for example, carbon emissions due to the transport of substrates,
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Reconciling nature and the city, a highly artificial environment, is an art that is practised from the scale of the building to that of the suburban territory, including that of the neighbourhood.
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