La Traversine is the name for a urban pedagogical garden of 300m2 on the roof of the Bercy school in Paris. It is one of the 30 projects selected by the City of Paris for its competition Parisculteurs.


[Traversine], a name that both symbolizes the exchange towards other cultures, as an “agri-cultural” North-South gateway,
and the use made of this terrace to date, a crossing to be borrowed in case of emergency to evacuate 2 class rooms…
This terrace will be transformed in an experimental and educational garden.

With the Traversine, we imagined a garden containing several approaches to sustainable agriculture (agroecology, permaculture), already implemented by Designing Hope with children in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Swaziland and Senegal .

Using the “Communicating Class” program chosen by the Bercy school, and the facilities of our African relay classes, we will facilitate exchanges of experiences, promote pedagogical activities carried out around the garden thanks to an interactive blog called “Transgardens


We will organize recreational activities open to children in small groups during the extracurricular activities in collaboration with the educational team and with the peripheral recreation centers during the summer, echoing those carried out in schools in other countries. We will discuss various topics: soil, seed, life cycles of a plant, compost, auxiliaries, cultivation methods. We will try to sensitize them to an approach of valorization of the resources of the school for the fertilization of the garden (composting of leaves, branches of the trees of the court, remains of the canteen). Finally, we will encourage them to try some plantations at home, if they have a balcony, or if they can have access to a garden somewhere in a family, preferring recycling, composting, and giving them seeds or of plants, as we do in Africa.

Description of the garden :

The garden located on the terrace, required the installation of structures above ground, realized in douglas pine and metal.

The Key Hole :
It is a circular, raised vegetable garden, with a compost in its center, the nutrients of which spread to the fertilizers of the surrounding cultures. Its name literally keyhole, comes from its shape, created by an interruption of the vegetable garden to create access to the central composter. The lower part of the Key hole has been designed to receive dead wood, to lighten the structure on the one hand and to constitute an insect shelter on the other hand.

The Mandala :
The Keyhole is surrounded by 7 trapezoidal culture trays forming a flower inspired by mandalas, which are often a central element of permaculture gardens. It will welcome seasonal vegetable crops.

Staged culture tanks :
An alignment of 11 bins of 2m length each, with double level facade, intended to cultivate fruit trees, according to the principle of tiered cultivation: Double row of strawberries in facade, then berries in second level (raspberries, currants, blackcurrants, mures ), and climbing on taut lines at the back (kiwis, grapes).

The pergola :
A meeting place for children, surrounded by culture tanks, where perennial climbs (honeysuckle, jasmine, vine yard) and seasonal (gourds, potimarrons) will be planted, climbing on taut lines to create a shaded area.

The composter :
A double tank of 4m3 to store the leaves and branches recovered from the trees of the schoolyard.
It is surrounded by 2 bins, and also surrounded by a metal structure to accommodate climbing cucurbits, to create shade to promote compost.

The mini greenhouse village :
It consists of 4 mini greenhouses of 1m20 side in the form of small houses, constituting a play area for children. The roofs of the houses, in plexigas and stainless steel, are hinged and can open in the summer.
This space is surrounded by Douglas fences, offering a double level of cultivation for strawberries and aromatic herbs.

Flower boxes :
2 large bins will be filled with varied perennial flowers, offering a flowering distributed throughout the seasons, to favor the pollination.

Other experimental modules will be added over the months to this initial device.

Find the latest news on the Traversine project on the dedicated platform :



Dessine l’Espoir remercie La mairie de Paris, l’équipe en charge des Parisculteurs, la Direction des affaires scolaires pour leur accompagnement dans la mise en place de ce projet, ainsi que la fondation Lemarchand, et la Fondation Nature est Découverte pour leur soutien financier ayant permis de fabriquer ces structures.