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Reconnecting city-dwellers to nature is possible ! 

04
dec
2019
Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
2 minutes
At a time of hyper-urbanization and the increase in the world’s population, agricultural production will become a societal issue ! Like urban farms that are growing massively in cities like New York, Merci Raymond’s services help to green cities.

Created in 2015, Merci Raymond is an eco-responsible French start-up bringing together gardeners and creative people determined to restore the importance of plants in the urban environment. What is its objective ? Make cities greener and more gourmet by encouraging city-dwellers to take part in the “green revolution”.

In a few words

Merci Raymond leads greenery actions on multiple scales in different places (public spaces, rooftops, blinds, offices, etc.) while creating a social link around gardening. 

The start-up aims to create local agricultural production sites and thus rethink consumption and cities to feed the urban populations of tomorrow. We can thus imagine with Merci Raymond the transformation of supermarket car parks into urban farms to set up a real short circuit with distributors.

In addition, Merci Raymond offers the opportunity to rethink the housing and professional real estate around the plant. At a time of climate change, the notion of short circuit will certainly become a key element for food retailers as consumers become more aware of the need to reduce the carbon footprint of their purchases.

The technological innovation

Merci Raymond has installed an aquaponics module at the Carrefour Market in Sèvres to create a market garden production in the heart of the point of sale.

Aquaponics is a combination of two models : aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (above-ground cultivation of plants using water enriched with minerals). With the installation of this cultivation system, a store can reduce its carbon footprint related to the food supply of fresh produce.

A business case

This year, Merci Raymond was contacted by the social landlord of Résidences Yveline-Essonne to create a collaborative garden in Les Mureaux, in the Musiciens district.

The young innovative company therefore designed and built, with the inhabitants, a huge permaculture mandala garden. It has included local actors by organizing activities with children from surrounding schools as well as training workshops with local adolescents and parents.

Today, the “Gardeners’ Club” has taken over to take care of vegetable plants, fruits and herbs in this vegetable garden of more than 30 m2. The start-up Merci Raymond visits them once a month to continue to animate the community of gardeners around the garden.

The young French start-up also carried out other actions such as the installation of hops on the walls of the gymnasium and the Georges Rigal swimming pool, located at 115 Boulevard de Charonne. This climbing plant was then cultivated and maintained by the gardening collective.

After the harvest in September, the micro-brewery Fauve Craft Bière, located at 64 rue de Charonne, was able to produce more than 500 liters of “La Petite Charonne” beer.

The startup

Merci Raymond leads actions of greening at multiple scales within various spaces. This eco-responsible start-up fulfills one main mission : to restore the importance of plants in urban areas in France.

Merci Raymond’s offer can be broken down into three main actions :

  • The development of sustainable urban greening to reintegrate green into cities ;
  • The development of urban agriculture, by creating places of production that allow healthy consumption but also by conducting educational workshops ;
  • The implementation of gardening trainings in order to introduce city-dwellers to green spaces and thus promote the creation of social ties.
Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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