Growing a Greener City in Paris + Toronto

Monday, September 18 

2:30 – 6:00 PM

The Pit, Architecture Building (ARC), 325 Church Street

This public forum features speakers from AgroParisTech sharing their successes at building support for urban agriculture and demonstrating the social and ecological benefits of growing food in the city.

Registration for both in-person and live Zoom events are free.

Zoom webinar:


2:30 - 3:00 Welcome and background to the AgroParisTech visit

3:00 - 4:15 PM Panel 1: How to build support for urban agriculture 

  • Christine Aubry: How AgroParisTech/INRAE supports public and private urban agriculture actors
  • Taoufik Souami: Agriculture in urban development projects in Greater Paris
  • Questions & commentary from local respondents: Jane Hayes 

4:15 - 4:45 PM Break

4:45 - 6:00 PM Panel 2:  Food as urban ecology 

  • Agnès Lelièvre: Resource-use efficiency for sustainable city food systems. Lessons from two European programmes 
  • Giulia Giacchè: Urban agriculture as a source of ecological and cultural services   
  • Questions & commentary from local respondents: Lorraine Johnson and Emma Tamlin

This is just a taste of 9 days of celebrating Toronto-grown food and the people who grow it! See more Toronto Urban Agriculture Week events at

This event is organised by TMU’s Centre for Studies in Food Security, Chang School for Continuing Education, Department of Architectural Science, TMU Urban Farm, TMU Global, and Toronto Urban Growers, with support from the Consulate General of France at Toronto.

Want to know more about the speakers?

Download a PDF of speaker info

A group of four professors/researchers who specialize in urban agriculture will be visiting from France from September 17 to 23.  They are affiliated with AgroParisTech (APT), Université Paris Saclay, a leading agricultural university in France, and/or with the INRAE (National Institute of Research in Agronomy and Environment), as well as the Greater Paris Urban Development Chair – Paris School of Urban Planning (Chaire Aménager le Grand Paris [CAGP]). 

Some of the APT/INRAE/CAGP projects

Exp’AU – is an applied research and advice office that primarily serves public institutions. Based on several years of action research and support from urban stakeholders to design agricultural projects, the Method Exp’AU guide offers a methodological pathway for designing and implementing an urban agriculture project. Intended for landowners and managers wishing to develop urban agriculture projects, the publication provides step-by-step guidance for both commercial (urban farms, eco-grazing) and non-commercial projects (community gardens, chicken coops, etc.).  

FEW-meter – This project studied the nexus of food, water, energy in urban agriculture in European and US cities over four years, with the aim of increasing the environmental, economic and social sustainability of growing food in the city. 

Key documents:

A Roadmap for Resource Efficient Urban Agriculture with policy recommendations 

A final report on the resource efficiency and social impacts of urban agriculture

The synthesis of all measurements of Food, Energy and Water consumption in the 5 countries studied, by urban agriculture type.

FoodE (Food Systems in European Cities) - FoodE aims to accelerate the growth of sustainable and resilient citizen-led urban food system initiatives across Europe by engaging citizens of all ages, small food businesses, cities and regional authorities, academia and schools.

Key documents:

Factsheets on recommendations to develop urban agriculture 

Results on the assessment of urban agriculture by French stakeholders

Simplified assessment tool and its test on more than 100 food system european projects.

Projet SEMOIRS – This project sought to analyse cultural and ecological services provided by urban micro-farms.

Key documents: 

Toward an Evaluation of Cultural Ecosystem Services Delivered by Urban Micro-Farms 

Ecosystem Services Delivered by Soils from Urban Micro-Farms.  

SecurAgri – This service set up at AgroParisTech provides research and advice on soil safety to municipalities and other institutions.

AFAUP – Incubation at AgroParisTech enabled the launch of the French association for professional urban agriculture (AFAUP).

Chaire Agricultures Urbaines – This platform based at AgroParisTech is a multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral research partnership documenting urban agriculture’s contributions to the resilience of cities.  Chaire AU focuses on healthy and sustainable food for all, eco-system services, and the socio-economic role that urban agriculture plays. 

Chaire Aménager le Grand Paris – The CAGP (Greater Paris Urban Development Chair) is based at the Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris (Paris School of Urban Planning) in partnership with public (municipal and regional) and private actors.  This platform provides training and research on urban planning and development in Greater Paris.  In recent years, the Chaire has been working on urban agriculture, focusing on the interaction between urban planning practices and urban agriculture projects in Greater Paris.

General public information on urban agriculture in English:

A collection of articles on sustainable food systems.

An interactive ebook for kids 8-12 years old.

About the APT/INRAE/CAGP visitors:

Dr Christine Aubry, Professor, INRAE/AgroParisTech, Université Paris Saclay     

Christine Aubry is an agricultural engineer with a PhD in agronomy (AgroParisTech).  As Senior Research Professor at the INRAE (National Institute of Research in Agronomy and Environment), she was responsible for the creation and direction of the Urban Agricultures research team at the SADAPT UMR (joint research centre) from 2012 to 2022.  She initiated the T4P (Toits Parisiens Productifs Projet Pilote/ Parisian Productive Roofs Pilot Project) in the same year.  In 2013, she co-founded and led as Consulting Professor the teaching of an urban agriculture specialization within the engineering training programme at AgroParisTech. In 2015, in order to support cities, associations and entreprises in developing appropriate urban agriculture forms, she established an applied research and advice office, Exp’AU, to build methodologies and help public authorities in  decision making around urban agriculture. In 2018, another step was the creation of a multi-partenarial chair (urban agriculture, ecosystemic services and food for the cities), co-funded by the City of Paris, the Metropolis of Greater Paris, and private actors, to support directly research activities and to set up large networks about topics of mutual interest such as “Urban agriculture and food precarity”.  Christine has been overseeing an "Urban Agriculture" Book Series with two Canadian colleagues at Springer since 2014.

Dr Giulia Giacchè, researcher, INRAE/AgroParisTech, Université Paris Saclay          

Giulia Giacchè, is an agronomist with a PhD in land use planning.  She has participated in various research projects on urban agriculture in Italy, France and Brazil. Since 2017, she has been coordinating the research office “Exp’AU”(EXPertise on Urban Agriculture), offering support to local authorities and private actors in the implementation of urban agriculture projects. Her topics of investigation and interest include the relation of urban agriculture to planning and ecosystem services. In 2022, she coordinated two major publications: “Developing urban agriculture projects with the Meth-Expau® method” and “Urban agriculture in France: Understanding the dynamics, supporting the actors”. She will assume in November 2023 a new permanent position at INRAE as researcher on “Urban Agriculture and Territorial Integration”.


Dr Agnès Lelièvre, Assistant-Professor,AgroParisTech/INRAE, Université Paris Saclay       

A doctor in agronomy, Agnès teaches students and apprentices at AgroParisTech with a focus on agronomy and its interface with other disciplines (food processing and production path, food safety, food systems). She currently oversees the teaching of the Urban Agriculture specialization for students in Agricultural Engineering at AgroParisTech (MSc level). She has co-supervised a PhD which conceptualized a tool for stakeholders in urban agriculture and can be adapted to different cases (Urbanaa). The research of Agnès has included monitoring the development of urban agriculture projects in the Ile-de-France region, providing expertise for various low-tech and high-tech urban agricultural projects, as well as analysing their operations to develop tools for evaluating their sustainability. Agnès has taken part in two major European research programs on urban agriculture: FEW-Meter (2018-2022) and Food-E (2020-2024). She will also participate in another European research program from 2024, FoodCity Boost. All these projects center around urban agriculture and its impact on citizens, the city and the food system.

Dr Taoufik Souami, Professor, École d’Urbanisme de Paris, Université Gustave Eiffel

Taoufik is a Professor in urban planning at the Université Gustave Eiffel, where he served as co-director of L’École d’Urbanisme de Paris until 2020.  He focuses in his research on the analysis of the practices of actors in urban and regional planning and development.  Taoufik is co-scientific director of the Chaire Aménager le Grand Paris Paris (Greater Paris Urban Development Chair), a platform whose mission is to produce work on planning practices in Greater Paris, to put them into perspective by examining innovative international planning experiences, to train professionals and students, and to foster discussions between planning stakeholders, civil society and elected officials. Recently, Taoufik developed a particular interest in the integration of urban agriculture in urban development projects; he is seconded to the INRAE during the 2023-2024 academic year to explore this area. 

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