Michèle Lori, 86, never misses the weekly farmers market on Wednesdays in the Cité Maraîchère in Romainville outside Paris. "I've lived at the bottom of the street in the Marcel-Cachin housing estate for 60 years. I was really looking forward to the opening of this place. I even have a trowel with the name of the Cité Maraîchère," said the dynamic octogenarian.
Since opening in the summer of 2021, the Romainville Market Garden City is a hybrid public place that combines a horticultural greenhouse, whose products are sold at prices that vary according to customers' household allowance (sometimes a discount of as much as 75%), an awareness-building space, a job-integration workshop, and a café. The space's innovative character is not only due to the many things it is used for, but also to its design: Vegetables grow under a large glass roof, like in a greenhouse, but on several levels, up to six stories high in two modern towers.
"More than a production site, it's a place of observation and life, in the town's political district," said Yuna Conan, the director of the Cité. The site employs 15 people on a social integration program along with supervisors and has distributed 240 membership cards to the city's residents, a third of which correspond to products at the lowest price.
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