Toulouse, France
City population: 703385
Duration: 2016 – 2018
Implementation status: Completed and archived or cancelled
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: 15 m2
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

Citizen Farm was a start-up founded by Pierre Osswald (Ref. 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 (Ref. 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. (Ref. 1, 2). The Citizen farm initative was ended in 2018 due to financial difficulties (Ref. 35).


Nature-based solution

  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Environmental quality
  • Waste management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Economic development: agriculture
  • Employment/job creation
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable production



Project objectives

The goal of the farm was 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 (Ref. 3, 6). The goal of the system is also to be 100% self-sufficient (Ref. 6). The ozarium's reduction of water usage also has the potential to advantage cities or countries in situations of water stress (Ref. 5).

Implementation activities

Pierre Osswald launched the Citizen Farm project in 2013 (Ref. 13). One year of work was necessary to develop the first test of this unique product in France, (Ref. 9) which is based on the 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) (Ref. 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 was sold on the internet (Ref. 10). Osswald targeted businesses, communities, real estate developers and states with several business models in North America and Europe (Ref. 5, 6). Citizen Farm hosted visiting schoolchildren year round while dishes are prepared by chefs twice a week, (Ref. 3, 11) while surplus production will be given to associations (Ref. 8). It also organised practical workshops on insect hotel creations or seed dispensers etc. (Ref. 12). By mid-2016 the start-up had 4 employees (Ref. 6). Upon filing for bankruptcy in 2018, CitizenFarm employed 10 people and “…had succeeded in attracting 6,000 private customers and had installed seven aquaponics farms throughout France” (Ref. 35).

Main beneficiaries

  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Food producers and cultivators (i.e. farmers, gardeners)


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Social enterprise

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 (Ref. 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 (Ref. 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 (Ref. 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 (Ref. 15, 27, 34).)


Total cost

€10,000 - €50,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Other

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of land
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Public authorities (e.g. land, utility services)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved waste management

Economic impacts

  • Increase of jobs
  • Increase in agricultural production (for profit or not)

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records