top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Green raft is bringing new life to Paris canal

A simple wooden raft could help transform a Parisian canal, revitalising the water, encouraging wildlife and improving biodiversity.

The idea for the plant-covered raft, backed by Paris mairie as part of its budget participatif citizens’ proposals for change, came from resident Katarina Dear who had been looking for a way to bring the Canal-Saint-Martin back to life.

Now the first raft has been installed at Quai de Jemmapes in the 10th arrondissement and has already been adopted by ducks and other birds, insects such as dragonflies, and, hidden underneath, fish and water molluscs.

Ms Dear said: “I go past the canal a lot and it looked so sad with the dirty water. I knew plants could help clean it and looked for a way to help.

“This first raft is a test, with a growing area for the plants which are common semi-aquatic or aquatic plants in Ile-de-France.

“Underneath the raft is an underwater oasis that gives shelter for fish and a habitat for molluscs.

“The roots in the water give food and also absorb impurities and clean it up.” Residents backed the plan in the budget vote and the city put up €20,000 to make it work. 

Ms Dear said it is bare now but that the 600 plants would soon green up and make a difference, cleaning water and taking CO2 from the air.

She has started a group, Nature&Us, to promote ways of using nature to help improve city living.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now