Towards the ecological resilience of RIVP heritage

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Recently, heat peaks have been affecting the Ile-de-France region. Faced with these phenomena, and in parallel with the work carried out on summer comfort, the RIVP has chosen to act and work on improving the living environment and in particular on the greening of its heritage.

A WHO report published in 2016 reveals that green spaces provide many public health benefits and improve the ecological resilience* of cities in the face of extreme environmental events such as heat waves.

Un jardin dans une résidence RIVP

It is within this framework but also because the RIVP has commissioned Urbalia to establish a diagnosis of the plant heritage and to reflect on how these green spaces can be improved, developed and better managed.

Urbalia's mission was to "see whether the RIVP's vegetal heritage was of good ecological quality and the paths envisaged for moving from a classic green space to a natural space that is more conducive to biodiversity," explains Paola Mugnier, director of Urbalia.

For this study, the 425 sites with green spaces (out of a total of 761 housing buildings) were screened.

On reading this diagnosis, a first observation stands out: with 63 hectares, the reservoir of outdoor spaces (paths, courtyards, gardens, parks, etc.) is very large and offers very interesting potential. Of these outdoor areas, 36.3 hectares are already planted, or, put together, the equivalent of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Parc Monceau and Parc de Belleville combined! On a per-tenant basis, this represents 10.6 m2 of green space per inhabitant. In its report, the WHO stated that it was necessary to develop small green spaces located close to the homes and recommended 12 m² of green space per inhabitant. Finally, the RIVP's heritage also includes many wooded gardens with, for example, more than 3,370 trees planted.

In parallel with this diagnosis, Urbalia carried out a similar mission on commercial property and incubators managed by the RIVP. This made it possible to qualify, site by site, the existing and potential of outdoor spaces and to define the courses of action to be taken on each of them.

Although RIVP has real assets, it is nevertheless essential that actions be put in place to, among other things, diversify the habitats to accommodate more fauna and flora, think about different management and maintenance, develop urban agriculture projects and increase green areas, particularly roofs (only 7.8% of our roofs are green).

Objective: plant 1,000 additional trees and double the green roofs.

Among the concrete actions proposed, Urbalia proposes, for example, to develop certain sites with the Eco-Garden label, to impose the Biodiversity profile and an ecologist in the EMO teams for new construction operations, to transform our lawns into late mowing meadows, to implement more composting in residences and to develop even more shared gardens.

The RIVP thus wishes to move gradually from traditional to ecological management of its green spaces, with pilot sites starting in 2021. At the same time, specific campaigns will be carried out, notably to plant 1,000 trees and transform 25% of our lawns into late mowing meadows.  Finally, between now and 2026, RIVP wishes to double the surface area of its green roofs, improve the biodiversity quality of the existing ones and carry out exemplary operations in urban agriculture.

*Resilience is the capacity of certain ecosystems, individuals or societies to rebuild themselves after a serious disturbance or even to adapt and rebuild themselves to reach a new equilibrium thanks to resources.