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Conference to highlight the importance of the horticultural industry in city greening initiatives

The ornamental horticulture industry makes a significant contribution to city greening initiatives. This is the theme of the AIPH Green City Conference on September 20, 2023. Organized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), the conference is part of the 75th AIPH Annual Congress, which takes place in Suncheon, Republic of Korea, from September 17 to 21.

AIPH members and industry practitioners will present insights into where and how the industry has influence over green city projects and what this means for the long-term relevance and influence of growers and grower organizations.

The conference will present two examples of green city initiatives in the Republic of Korea. Landscape Architect Mr. Jo Yongjun will deliver insights on the design of Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, which he was involved in developing. The project was a success in demonstrating green city principles within a cultural context. Secondly, AIPH representative Ms. Diane Lee will present the 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo and how its theme of living in a garden has stimulated citizens to become greener in growing their own plants, which in turn supports the transformation of Suncheon into a greener city.

Following these examples from the Republic of Korea, three industry leaders will speak about the contribution of the horticultural industry to greening initiatives in their countries. Mr. Albert Haasnoot, Sustainability Manager for Royal FloraHolland in the Netherlands, will present the greening programs in Europe. Mr. Glenn Fenton of Greenlife Industry Australia will explore why the representation of the industry is important at the research interface, while Mr. Bill Hardy, President of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), will highlight the importance of the industry’s involvement in city greening.

Finally, AIPH Technical Advisor Dr. Audrey Timm will present five new case studies in the AIPH Green City Case Study Collection that demonstrate the role of the ornamental horticulture industry in city greening. In Canada, growers are contributing expertise, plants, and land for trials of tree species that are suitable to the climate and environment of the Canadian Prairies. Growers are rarely included in discussions at the municipal level about landscape specifications or planting strategies, and the contribution of these growers facilitates more effective supply and demand communication. A similar approach to promoting careful tree selection resulted in the planting of an arboretum in a public park alongside a new residential development in France. The Castellane Arboretum was created by the Greater Lyon Authority as part of its campaign to increase tree planting in the private realm. Located within the St Andrews University campus in Fife, Scotland, St Andrews Botanic Garden has undertaken a fundamental re-design of its site and purpose, enabling it to serve green infrastructure professionals. It aims to facilitate predictive research into the ways that temperate flora might interact, evolve, and adapt to new conditions. With these and more examples from Canada, France, Scotland, and USA, it is clear that the ornamental horticulture industry is becoming increasingly active in supporting urban greening.

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