"A flock of sheep brings humanity and freedom to the city.”
January 16, 2019 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Paris Pastoral: A City Recultivated Mira Kamdar discusses the history, present and future of urban agriculture in Paris. Including: urban shepherding -- concrete honey, and Paris as a refuge for bees -- biodiversity -- 19th century glass bells for local agriculture -- zoning -- dedicated livestock trams -- and paths for hedgehogs to circulate among suburban gardens.
posted by Hypatia (6 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I love this. Wish I could live somewhere that the idea of bringing nature and agriculture back to the city would (no pun intended) take root.
posted by FleetMind at 11:26 AM on January 16

"paths for hedgehogs to circulate among suburban gardens"

I...I don't know what to say about this. But part of my brain has just fallen in love with the idea of hedgehog-friendly urban infrastructure.

Maybe next we do possum parks and raccoon rights-of-way?
posted by darkstar at 11:44 AM on January 16

I live smack in the middle of San Francisco, literally 200 feet from Market Street and I get regular visits from raccoons. I haven’t seen possums here but they were common when I lived near San Jose. Your goals are achievable, but sadly—very sadly—we do not have hedgehogs in the Americas.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:00 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]

she told me she and her shepherding partner at Clinamen, Guillaume Leterrier, “became urban shepherds because we think that when people interact with animals, they become more human.”

This is beautiful and I really really agree with this kind of urban farming. (As one might guess from my own gardening experience in San Francisco) my only concern is that cities used to be filled with livestock, and it contributed to a lot of disease, so I hope especially when you’re taking about anything larger than a chicken (of course avian diseases are a problem too) that the hygiene issues are well thought out. Of course modern sanitation and vaccines means a lot of the issues of past urban farming are less pressing, but you never hear in these articles on urban farming how living in close quarters with livestock has historical downsides.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:50 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]

I wonder if we'd displace rats or feed even more of them or what. Not unrelated to the disease-development-and-transmission problem, either.
posted by clew at 2:27 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]

This is a great article, and there are sheep grazing 260 meters from my very center of Copenhagen home. And bees everywhere. And a lot of other urban farming projects. I'm that lucky.
posted by mumimor at 2:48 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]

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