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ANR funded project

Villes et Bâtiments Durables (VBD) 2012

Urban Community Gardens and sustainable cities

JASSUR project is intending to study functions, uses, modalities of functioning and potential risks or dangers resulting from associative gardens, in emerging sustainable cities. Those urban associative gardens, which can be referred to as several names, and exist under various status and forms, are growing up in many industrialized countries, including France. This project aims at identifying required actions to maintain, restore, transform or even develop the effect of associative gardens on urban territories facing the challenges of sustainability. In order to do this, the project leans on a consortium of 12 research partners (various institutions) and citizen organizations in seven French cities (Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nancy, Nantes, Paris and Toulouse). JASSUR project is based on a central question: what services do urban associative gardens provide for cities sustainable development? Ecosystem services rendered to the city, understood as in the complete meaning of the term proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (provisioning, regulating, supporting, cultural services) are still largely unknown. Facing the knowledge to develop in order to go through these services, JASSUR project assumes that studying food services provided by these urban associative gardens, which are very poorly studied, is a link between:
• A bio-physico-chemical characterization of soils and products of the gardens: potential risks of pollution due to urban context (soil, atmosphere) are central as they may counteract the food supply service;
• A socio-technical characterization of gardeners practices, both regarding their choices in terms of crops, their production techniques and the quantitative and qualitative contribution of garden products to insure a food supply and a better diet to families;
• A socio-political characterization of the governance of these spaces in urban areas, particularly in terms of managing their locations, ways of functioning, potential environmental and health risks.
The scientific program is organized in tasks, the first one being coordination (task 1) and four knowledge production tasks. Task 2 deals with the actors involved in the establishment and life of the gardens, their governance and their place in urban planning. Task 3 analyzes food supply service (cropping practices, yields and uses of products, measures of consumption and nutrient intake, gardener’s representations as to the advantages and dangers of gardens). Task 4 deals with regulatory and support ecosystem services, emphasizing those related to biodiversity and water regulation. This work also addresses metrology of dangers through two major sources of potential pollution: the soil and the atmosphere. Task 5, tasks 3 and 4 related, will suggest strategies that communities may use to manage pollution (including bioremediation and phytoremediation).
Deliverables will be in each task and inter-task various scientific productions (disciplinary and interdisciplinary publications, participation in conferences), but also decision support for managing gardens for the purpose of city partners (eg, maps of risks). In particular, animations with these cities are planned.


AgroParisTech-INRA (SAD-APT) UMR Sciences Action Développement Activités Produits Territoires

EGC UMR Environnement et Grandes Cultures


Groupe HEI-ISA-ISEN (ESE-LGCgE) Equipe Sols et Environnement-LGCgE

IRSTV Institut de Recherche en Sciences et Techniques de la Ville

ISARA (LER) ISARA Lyon, équipe développement et économie rurale

MEDDTL (CETE IdF) Centre d’Etude Technique de l’Equipement d’Ile-de-France

PADES Programme Autoproduction Développement social

Plante et Cité Plante et Cité

TELEMME UMR Temps, Espaces, Langages, Europe méridionale, Méditerranée

UL-INRA (LSE) UMR Sols et Environnement

Laboratoire public


ANR grant: 949 039 euros
Beginning and duration: janvier 2013 - 36 mois


ANR Programme: Villes et Bâtiments Durables (VBD) 2012

Project ID: ANR-12-VBDU-0011

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Christophe SCHWARTZ (UMR Sols et Environnement)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.