Visit of an underground car park converted into an urban farm

January 19, 2019

The car as a possessed object regresses in a dense environment. Many local authorities and landlords therefore find themselves having to manage almost empty car parks. There are many inconveniences: damage, traffic of all kinds, squats... All this translates into high costs: taxes, maintenance, dog handlers...

To enhance these spaces, initiatives have multiplied in recent years. At the start of 2019, Sareco took an interest in agricultural potential. To better understand the operational methods for setting up projects of this nature, the Sareco team visited an underground car park of a social landlord ( ICF Habitat - La Sablière ) now operated as an organic urban farm: La Caverne , located in the 18th district of Paris.

After 18 months of operation, the first feedback is positive:

  • The project, entirely private, has found its economic equilibrium.
  • The farm pays a (moderate) rent to the lessor who previously had almost no income.
  • Permanent jobs have been created and around twenty people work on the site.
  • The car park is secure, in particular by the presence of the staff.
  • Short circuit organic production has been set up, in particular of endives and various mushrooms, with delivery by cargo bikes.
  • If necessary, unsold items are distributed to the inhabitants of the social housing located above.
  • The farmer has acquired a skill that will allow him to replicate this device in other sites.

This model is probably not replicable in all parks and it needs to be studied in more detail to verify its long-term viability. It nevertheless shows that reflections on the reconquest of underground spaces can succeed and that the abandonment of car is not necessarily inevitable.

For any information on the possibilities of reconverting car parks, do not hesitate to contact us .



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75010 Paris
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69001 Lyon
T.: +33 (0)4 78 39 14 83
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35510 Cesson-Sévigné
T.: +33 (0)2 57 67 06 97
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