Poitiers has pulled out of the annual Ville Fleurie competition, saying it wants its open spaces to be planted with more sustainable vegetation – not flowers.
Ville Fleurie, one of the most popular inter-municipal competitions in France, available since 1959 in different formats, awards stars, or rather flowers, to the most colorful municipalities.
Factors such as the involvement of the public in the decoration of the municipality are also taken into consideration.
Last year, 4,500 municipalities took part in the competition, of which 276 won the ranking of the first four flowers, last won by Poitiers in 2019.
The city has confirmed that it will not participate this year.
€1,000 fee influenced the decision
The Greens have taken over from the Socialists as the majority party on the municipal Council in 2020.
The deputy mayor in charge of parks and gardens, Pierre Nénez, told local television that the hot summers forced city workers to spend a lot of time watering flowers and uprooting and replacing burnt plants for the competition.
He said the park service is looking for more durable plants, shrubs and trees to replace some of the flower beds.
To participate in the competition, municipalities must pay an entry fee, which varies from €50 for municipalities with less than 500 inhabitants to €1,400 for a city the size of Lyon.
Mr Nénez said the €1,000 fee Poitiers had to pay was another factor in the decision.
“Filling out the forms and arranging the jury visits takes a lot of city staff time, and we think we can do without it, at least for a while,” he said.
Competition criteria are greener
The association Villes et Villages Fleuris, which organizes the competition, described the decision as “regrettable”.
Spokesperson Kevin Beurlat said The connection“We feel they haven’t incorporated the changes to include more environmental sensitivities into the way we judge.
“Our criteria have changed to include perennial planting efforts, the encouragement of biodiversity, and the ecological management of parks and flowerbeds.
“We respect the political choice made by Poitiers but we also look forward to welcoming them back in the future.”
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