In France, the city of Paris has been going verte for some time, not only for overall planetary health but for the many immediate benefits to public well-being. Over the years, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has championed a variety of aggressive (and controversial) anti-pollution strategies; several have already been implemented. These programs include the world-famous Vélib’ bike-share system and the redesign of the river embankments, just two of the many ways the French are promoting healthier communities.
This summer, my daughter and I visited one of their seasonal offerings, Le Jardin Ephemère (“The Ephemeral Garden”). Installed on the square in front of Hötel de Ville (City Hall) and running but a few short weeks, tourists and citizens enjoy these charming patches of meadow temporarily “planted” on the flagstones. As the name says, this garden is fleeting but the beauty of that limitation underscores the importance of remembering our own.
Copyright 2013, Lori Fontanes