Location: Toulouse, France
City population: 703,385
Project duration: 2016 - ongoing
Project cost: Less than 50 000 EUR
Financing source(s): Other

Citizen Farm

Ferme citoyenne

Citizen Farm is a start-up founded by Pierre Osswald. (3) The project began with an experimental urban farm in a vegetable garden of Raymond 6. The ozarium farm (a vegetable aquarium) uses a technique called aquaponia. (5) This technique grows all kinds of plants and vegetables indoors in an entirely natural way. Fertilizer or watering are not needed. Plants feed on the nutrients in the aquarium: water and fish discharges. In return, they purify and oxygenate fish water. It is an ecological and educational innovation which is surfacing as an "eco-responsible" trend. (1, 2)

Urban setting

  • Allotments and community gardens
    • Other

Key challenges

  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Environmental quality, including air quality and waste management
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)

Main beneficiaries

  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Citizens or community groups
Project objectives
The goal of the farm is to innovate the production of what is equivalent to the energy and consumption needs of four people for one year in its publicly distributed form. (3, 6) The goal of the system is also to be 100% self-sufficient. (6) The ozarium's reduction of water usage also has the potential to advantage cities or countries in situations of water stress. (5)
Implementation activities
Pierre Osswald launched the Citizen Farm project in 2013. (13) One year of work was necessary to develop the first test of this unique product in France, (9) which is based on the ingenious combination of a greenhouse and an aquarium, all housed on and in a container. The farm is the size of a parking space (13m2 and 15m2). (5, 6, 11) The challenge of the project was to find the right balance between the number of fish, the type of plants and the amount produced to feed four people. The product is currently sold on the internet. (10) Osswald has targeted businesses, communities, real estate developers and states with several business models in North America and Europe. (5, 6) Citizen Farm hosts visiting schoolchildren year round while dishes are prepared by chefs twice a week, (3, 11) while surplus production will be given to associations. (8) It also organises practical workshops on insect hotel creations or seed dispensers etc. (12) By mid-2016 the start-up had 4 employees. (6)

Type of initiating organisation

  • Citizens or Community groups

Management set-up

Led by non-government actors

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Crowd-sourcing/Crowd-funding/Participatory bdget
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Co-management/Joint management
Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project
Toulouse Metropolis provided Osswald the necessary free space at the vegetable garden at Raymond 6; it also provides access to the garden for others with the intention of raising fish, growing vegetables and, above all, sensitizing the general public. (3) The start-up has also formed a partnership with Action Logement with the intention of mobilising the public around the project after its intervention at the Roofs Solid'Air Salvation Army foyer in Reims. (16, 33) From 2015 the start-up also joined the At Home community of start-up entrepreneurs at the Place de la Bourse in Toulouse as a way of attracting companies and investors with shared events and services. (25)
Project implemented in response to ...
... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes
The Citizen Farm project is supported by Toulouse Metropole in the framework of the Smart City experiments. Through the Smart City Toulouse project, the city aspires to become a more fluid, friendly, innovative, dynamic, attractive, responsible and sustainable metropolis. (15, 27, 34)
Expected impacts
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
Details on impacts and indicators used Unknown

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

(1) Toulouse Business School. [no date]. CitizenFarm, un aquarium qui fait pousser des plantes ! http://www.tbs-education.fr/fr/newsletter/projet-honneur/citizenfarm-un-aquarium-qui-fait-pousser-des-plantes
(2) Paimeblanc, Luci. (2016). Ça pousse dans la ferme urbaine aquaponique de Toulouse.http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2016/06/28/2374656-ca-pousse-dans-la-ferme-urbaine-aquaponique-de-toulouse.html
(3) Laignez, Julien, (2016). Toulouse : des déjections des poissons pour cultiver des légumes. https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/agriculture-peche/toulouse-citizen-farm-les-dejections-des-poissons-pour-cultiver-des-legumes-1464030053
(4) Citizen Farm. [no date]. Les produits les plus frais, avec du goût poussent naturellement au coin de la rue ! https://citizenfarm.fr/ferme-urbaine/
(5) de Varax, Aurélie. (2016). Citizen Farm installe la première ferme urbaine française en aquaponie, à Toulouse. http://www.touleco-green.fr/La-start-up-Citizen-Farm-installe-la-premiere-ferme-urbaine-en,19299
(6) Agnès Espa, Marie. (2016). Toulouse : la Smart City teste une ferme urbaine en aquaponie ! http://ecomnews.fr/article/6033/toulouse--la-smart-city-teste-une-ferme-urbaine-en-aquaponie-
(7) Beatrice, Colin. (2016). Toulouse: La ferme urbaine où comment faire pousser des légumes dans un conteneur. http://www.20minutes.fr/toulouse/1850535-20160524-toulouse-ferme-urbaine-o-comment-faire-pousser-legumes-conteneur
(8) Russeil, Delphine. (2016). [En images] Une ferme urbaine installée dans le jardin Raymond VI, près des Abattoirs à Toulouse. https://actu.fr/societe/en-images-une-ferme-urbaine-installee-dans-le-jardin-raymond-vi-pres-des-abattoirs-a-toulouse_3683338.html
(9) Boffet, Laurence. (2016). Toulouse : une ferme urbaine utilise des poissons pour faire pousser des légumes. http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/occitanie/haute-garonne/toulouse/toulouse-une-ferme-urbaine-qui-utilise-des-poissons-pour-faire-pousser-des-legumes-1004557.html
(10) Le Scouarnec, Jean Marc. (2016). Découvrez l'aquaculture au jardin Raymond-VI. http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2016/05/22/2349583-decouvrez-l-aquaculture-au-jardin-raymond-vi.html
(11) Decorse, Johanna. (2016). Citizen Farm prend racine au jardin Raymond VI. http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2016/05/23/2349661-citizen-farm-prend-racine-au-jardin-raymond-vi.html
(12) Russeil, Delphine. (2017). Au cœur de Toulouse, visitez une ferme urbaine où des plantes poussent grâce à des poissons. https://actu.fr/occitanie/toulouse_31555/au-coeur-de-toulouse-visitez-une-ferme-urbaine-ou-des-plantes-poussent-grace-a-des-poissons_3820505.html
(13) Mr Mondialisation. (2016). Il veut populariser les fermes urbaines en alliant poissons et plantes. https://mrmondialisation.org/il-veut-populariser-les-fermes-urbaines/
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