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China: Tangshan Expo triggers ‘green city declaration’

Following the Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition 2016, the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is calling for a ‘green city declaration’ urging all cities to follow its lead.

The achievement of the AIPH-approved Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition 2016 has accelerated the transformation of Tangshan from a historically resource-based industrial and mining city to an innovative eco-city.

Through hosting the Expo, Tangshan has become a new paradigm for economic restructuring, improving urban functions, pushing forward green development and realising the “harmonious coexistence of city and nature”.

On the occasion of the closing of the Expo on 16 October 2016, AIPH proposed that all cities follow the example of Tangshan by adhering to the following Green City principles:
  1. Green development should be an important concept for urban planning. Top level design should be enhanced to build resource-saving and environmentally-friendly cities that provide harmony between humans and nature.
  2. Green development should be the basis for urban construction and governance. Urban forests should be developed and ecological restoration should be emphasised to improve the functions and build the resilience of cities.
  3. Plants should be considered as vital elements in improving the ecology and environment of cities to make them truly Green Cities. Horticulture should be brought into the lives of more people to improve the happiness and quality of life of citizens.
Speaking about the Green City principles, Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General, AIPH, calls to cities around the world: “Let’s work together as the messengers of the green development concept, the practitioners of a green lifestyle, and as defenders of the green ecological environment. Let’s cherish green, protect green, create green, and make the pursuit of ‘living green’ in to something that is normal and expected in every city.”

Millions of people have enjoyed the Expo during the last six months which has created a never ending sanctuary for the enjoyment, pleasure and rejuvenation of the people of Tangshan.

Speaking at the Expo closing ceremony and congratulating all those that played a part in its success, including AIPH’s member in China the China Flower Association, Tim Briercliffe said: “You have showed visitors and every other industrial city in China how to set a path towards a greener future. You have recognised the benefits of the green landscape and spread it throughout your city. What you have done here will have a genuinely positive benefit on millions of people.”

AIPH looks forward to the next Expos in China, in Beijing in 2019 and then in Yangzhou in 2021. Working closely with its member, the China Flower Association, AIPH will ensure that these Expos meet the standards that Tangshan has set.

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