UrbanGreenParis is a start-up that gives apartment dwellers’ window boxes a touch of green.

With so many Parisians living in apartments, UrbanGreenParis offers to make the most of their balconies and private window boxes. Landscapers will design and install custom-made window boxes that bring as much of a garden as possible to those not lucky enough to have a real one. The company offers different options that change with the seasons, ensuring that their displays always look their best.

Paris for the people

According to the World Population Review, there are over 2.3 million people currently living in Paris, with a further 10.5 million living in the surrounding suburbs. And according to Mintel’s DIY Retailing France 2014 report, around 13% of France’s total spend in this category goes to gardening-specific retailers. UrbanGreenParis has the opportunity to take a chunk of these sales and offer them to a demographic – those in city apartments – that were potentially excluded from this market.

We have seen a number of events in Paris that have been designed to make the city as usable and easy to live in as possible. For example the city is looking to ban cars from the River Seine’s right bank, as part of the mayor of Paris’ initiative to create a more “pedestrianised” city, with double the number of bike lanes and a diesel ban, by 2020.

Elsewhere we have seen Tesla Motors planning to penetrate the Japanese auto market by installing a network of supercharging sites and a London architecture firm announcing concept skyscrapers that will reduce the shadows typically associated with high-rise buildings.

City living is not without its restrictions. However, it is clear that brands and companies, and even the cities themselves, are creating and providing services that attempt to make cities as easy to live in, navigate and even beautify as possible. This presents an opportunity for brands to provide products and services that city dwellers would otherwise miss because of their urban location.

Alex Strang is Mintel’s Trends analyst for the European region. He works to uncover changes in the patterns of consumer behaviour to detect new trends. He publishes observations on Mintel’s Trends platform that cover innovations, creative marketing campaigns and product launches to inspire clients with evidence of trends in action.