Group fills cracks in pavement with plants not cement

Moves to stop more of France being concreted over with new developments – the government says builders must compensate by creating equivalent green spaces – come years after residents in Caen took ‘greening’ into their own hands... by taking over pavement cracks for plants.

27 August 2018
By Connexion journalist

The Caen au Pied du Mur association has been at work for five years planting flowers, ferns and other plants wherever a gap opens up.

Founder Sylvain Girodom said “I’m a ‘townie’ and I like to see the vegetation, it makes the street much more beautiful and welcoming.

“I saw the weeds along the walls in my street and I thought that flowers could take over the space. It was something worth preserving; that’s why I created the association so more people would join in.”

Every two or three months the group holds street workshops where residents can come along to see how to turn pavement spaces into something with a bit of life by planting all sorts of greenery as long as it does not disrupt passers-by.

The group has a Facebook page under the Caen au Pied du Mur name to publicise their work and so far they have seen about 200 houses in more than a dozen streets joining in.

Now, after each planting, they stencil a plaque on to a wall and council workers will leave the plants... which is ideal in Caen which was named fifth in a list of towns with the most flowers.

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