Location: Saint-Etienne, France
City population: 373,538
Project duration: 2011 - 2017
Project cost: 50 000 - 100 000 EUR
Financing source(s): Public local authority's budget, Funds provided by non-governmental organization

Experimental Garden at The Cartonnerie

Jardin Expérimental à La Cartonnerie

"Pending the creation of housing and new walks by 2020, the association Carton Plein and the EPA (Public Building Institution) of Saint-Etienne have created a temporary public space on the site known as "la Cartonnerie". A place for exchange and conviviality, the site hosts artistic installations, ephemeral installations and events. It is a laboratory conducive to imagining new ways of doing the city." (Ref. 1) The citizens also created shared gardens in this area called "Le Jardin Experimental"(Experimental garden) (Ref. 4)

Urban setting

  • Allotments and community gardens
    • Allotments

Key challenges

  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Inclusive and effective governance (SDG 16)
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Economic development and decent employment (SDG 8)
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)

Main beneficiaries

  • Researchers/University
  • Citizens or community groups
Project objectives
-"Emerging a collaborative project-process to transform the viaduct and its surroundings in the short, medium and long term by drawing on all the dynamics of the sector (gardeners, cultural associations or parents, Institutions such as the Vittone elementary school and the multimedia library), but also by involving all the municipal services of the city that could intervene at given times on the sector in 2, 5, 10, 20 years and on various entrances: town planning , Culture, education, building, living environment, roads, green areas etc." (Ref. 5) -Place for citizens to share stories, knowledge and a research study for the urban living lab. (Ref. 3 and 4)
Implementation activities
-"A color-coded signage allows the visual delimitation of the garden space, new collective composting bins are ready to be filled, and finally, the construction of small specific elements will contribute to the creation of a biodiversity via an "insect hotel" " (Ref. 8) -"Neighbors pass and take part in the action: painting, weeding the garden, cutting plants to make up the broyat, cleaning the public space, transplanting a butterfly tree ..." (Ref. 9). A place for exchange and conviviality, the site hosts artistic installations, ephemeral installations and events.(Ref 1)

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government / municipality
  • Non-government organization / civil society
  • Citizens or Community groups

Management set-up

Co-governance or hybrid governance (mix of responsibilities between government and non-government actors)

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Co-management/Joint management
  • Citizen oversight (e.g. boards, advisory)
Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project
"The association "Carton Plein" was formed around the design of a temporary and experimental public space of 2,000 m2: "La Cartonnerie". Having become a playground for many actors (academics, developers, neighbors, professionals in the design of public spaces, associations, companies, etc.)" (Ref. 6) "This project is supported by EPASE since it is part of the project to develop the railway viaduct at Carnot." (Ref. 5) "shared management of this public space between citizens with the green thumb and the technical services of the city which intervene regularly there for the cleaning and the maintenance of the green spaces."(Ref. 5)
Project implemented in response to ...
... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes
EPASE (Saint Etienne Public Building) supports this project. EPA has a urbanism plan 2015-2020 and this project is part of this plan. (Ref. 1)
Expected impacts
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Inclusive and effective governance (SDG 16)
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
Details on impacts and indicators used -Rehabilitation of an unused area of the city (led by the city for several years to the association "Carton Plein" for the citizens creative initiatives) (Ref. 1 and 3) -Citizens are engaged in creating a place of sharing (Ref. 3, 4, 8and 9) -Creation of a community garden by residents and volunteers of the association to create a green area to meet people, create social bonds (Ref. 8 and 9)

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool



Disclaimer: The data collection was carried out between June and August 2017, the information presented has not been updated afterwards.