POPULATION: 85 770
Located 15 km from Paris, Versailles is a world-renowned tourist destination thanks to the Château de Versailles and its famous gardens, which made the city one of the first areas listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Since its expansion in the 17th century, the city founded by French King Louis XIV has become one of the most visited historic sites on the planet, with nearly 10 million tourists every year.
Inspired by the motto "Versailles, ville nature" (Versailles, the city of nature), the city benefits from a green living environment, with a vast network of parks and green spaces, and sustainability policies that promote a harmonious marriage between architecture and natural features.
The "City of Nature" becomes even greener
"Alone we go faster. Together we go farther," Franck Remy, Head of the Innovative Projects Unit, City of Versailles
Consistent measures to protect biodiversity, raise environmental awareness and improve the sustainable management of green spaces throughout time have made Versailles a haven of greenery, including a ban of pesticides announced 10 years ago.
An important part of Versailles' cultural traditions, the annual event "Esprit Jardin" has been inspiring and educating children on the importance of nature connectedness for the past 11 years. More than 1,800 pupils join the organic gardening activities organized by the city's eco-gardeners annually. Its 1.2 hectares of community gardens keep residents connected to nature and enable more sustainable lifestyles while increasing social interaction between residents.
In terms of mobility, the implementation of a system that favours cycling over motorized travel is in progress, having so far resulted in the construction of 22 km of cycling lanes. In order to better connect the city's districts, permanent cycling routes have been built: one lane crosses the city from east to west, the other from north to south, and a third route crosses the “boulevards de la République” and the “de la Reine” park.
Versailles is working closely with its residents to finalise ideas for nature-based solutions interventions such as rainwater collection and cooling islands.
Preserving the quality of life offered by its natural environment while providing quality services to its inhabitants is one of Versailles' main ambitions. With GoGreenRoutes, it will continue to step up its urban greening measures.
The GoGreenRoutes "Urban Well-being Labs" in Versailles will respond to a number of environmental and social challenges such as social isolation, sedentary lifestyles, as well as air and noise pollution, highlighting the co-benefits of nature-based solutions for human health, air quality, thermal comfort and to protect biodiversity. These spaces will encourage meetings and exchanges between generations, host social activities, and enable more active lifestyles.
Versailles' nature-based solutions will revitalize neighbourhood life by creating a new range of outdoor activities, promoting sustainable modes of transport and democratizing the use of sports facilities by giving them new uses and renewed support.
Did you know?
Organized in Versailles over the past 24 years, the "Mois Molière" theatre and music festival takes place in the parks, streets, theatres and historical sites of Versailles, allowing residents and visitors to rediscover the city's famous gardens through numerous performances.
The festival name, which translates as "The Molière Month", refers to the link between Versailles and French playwright and poet Molière.