Antalya 2016 - logoAIPH International Green City Conference
Congress Centre, Expo 2016 Antalya, Turkey
27 September 2016

Access to quality greenspace and horticultural landscapes is vital for the development of our children and the wellbeing of all city dwellers into the future. This was a clear conclusion from the AIPH International Green City Conference, supported by Expo 2016 Antalya.

Over 200 international delegates from 33 different countries as well as representatives from cities across Turkey heard how green cities can become a reality and how this will benefit the lives of citizens now and in the future.

Prof. Agnes van den Berg from the Netherlands and Richard Louv from the USA on the dangers of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. As cities grow and the fear of crime increases parents try to protect their children by preventing them from exploring the natural world alone. As a result, we are creating a generation that is more and more detached from its environment. Children have lost the ability to roam and research has shown the impact this has on the development of children. Research presented by Prof. van den Berg showed that giving children more access to nature improves their motor skills for example.

The Mayor of Antalya, Mr. Menderes Turel, opened the conference by highlighting the importance of city greening in Antalya. The city is working on planting five million trees over a five-year period. Prof. Veli Ortacesme from Akdeniz University described the actions taken in the Antalya region which has seen rapid growth in population over recent years. President of the Turkish Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association (OAiB) and AIPH Board member Osman Bagdatlioglu spoke of his journey in understanding the importance of city greening and his pride in seeing Antalya become greener and achieving international recognition for this with Expo 2016 Antalya and the prize from Communities in Bloom.

Greening in challenging situations was addressed by Kelvin Kan from AgFacaDesign in Singapore, who specialises in developing green facades for high rise buildings and used his award winning facade in Cecil Street, Singapore to illustrate what can be achieved.  This project includes a vertical wall containing 30,000 plants. Singapore started its greening policy in 1963 with a tree planting campaign and now is world famous for a being ‘a city in a garden’. Fayqa Abdulla Ashkanani from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in Qatar spoke about the projects underway to use the landscape to improve the living environment for the two million citizens. Qatar has 87 parks and has adopted the natural desert plants in these situations to provide green in this otherwise hostile environment. New plans are looking to develop micro-climates too to provide temperatures that will enable more people to walk around the city rather than drive.

Pan Xiaocheng from the Chinese city of Yangzhou described the city ambition to provide all citizens with a park within ten minutes-walk of their homes. This very green city promotes the importance of green and encourages private activities in this area too including the beautiful Marco Polo Flowers Ocean. The city will further develop its Green City credentials when it hosts an AIPH approved International Horticultural Exhibition in 2021. Designer of the AIPH/OAiB garden at Expo 2016 Antalya, Nilufer Danis explained how the garden demonstrates what every city can do to become greener and Richard Daigneault from Canada spoke about how the ‘Communities In Bloom’ initiative stimulates the greening of towns across Canada and the world, including in Antalya which won a top award in the 2015 Communities in Bloom contest.

Chairman of the AIPH Green City Committee and speaker at the conference commented following the conference saying, “We want all cities, all over the world, to be green and together we will achieve more”. Conference Chairman and AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe said, “Expo 2016 Antalya has been the perfect place for holding our Green City Conference. With its theme of ‘Flowers and Children – a green life for future generations’ the fit is just right with everything that AIPH is trying to promote and achieve with its work on Green Cities. The Expo provided tremendous support for this conference and this will be an important legacy from this great Expo. It is our hope that all those present will take what they have heard and use it to transform the cities they come from and therefore the lives of the citizens.”


Antalya 2016 - logoAIPH International Green City Conference
Congress Centre
Expo 2016 Antalya, Turkey
27 September 2016

9.00 am Conference coffee and registration

  • Introduction – by Chairman, Tim Briercliffe, AIPH Secretary General
  • Opening speeches
  • Greening Heritage City Antalya – Prof. Dr. Veli Ortacesme from Akdeniz University Faculty of Architecture, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, will explain how the city of Antalya is making its city greener and initiatives from other cities in Turkey.
  • Techniques for greening cities – Nilufer Danis, Lotus Garden Design, is a landscape architect and designer of the AIPH/OAiB ‘Green Oasis’ garden at Expo 2016 Antalya. Nilufer Danis will talk about:
    • Techniques for improving cities using the landscape
    • Introduction to the concept and design of the ‘Green Oasis’ garden at Expo 2016 Antalya
    • Q&A/Discussion
  • Prof. Agnes van den Berg, Groningen University, The Netherlands is involved in research on the benefits of greening for children. She will discuss urban greening and its implications and key challenges for children using case studies from her own research with children and schools.
  • City greening and biophilia in Singapore – Kelvin Kan, Principal of AgFacadesign & G FACADESIGN Pte Ltd, Singapore will talk about his experience of greening Singapore including:
    • Award winning ‘Hanging Garden’ project
    • Singapore: Biophilic City concept
    • City in a Garden concept
  • The importance of urban greening to the development of children – Richard Louv, USA will present to the conference through Skype from the USA.
  • Developing green areas that work for people – sports parks and public spaces in Yangzhou – Xie Zhengyi, Chairman of Yangzhou People’s Congress, P. R. China.
  • Greening very hot cities – Fayqa Abdulla Ashkanani, Director of the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2016 Antalya will introduce her experience of making parks and greening Qatar.
  • Making Communities Bloom around the world – Richard Daigneault (Communities in Bloom judge and Landscape Architect) will explain:
    • What is ‘Communities in Bloom’ and how cities around the world are getting involved
    • Why Antalya won a prize in 2015
    • How other cities can get involved and how this benefits them
  • Closing remarks and next steps – Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General, AIPH

4.40 pm Conference close

Networking drinks reception

5.30 pm Depart for hotel


agnees-van-den-bergProf. Dr A.E. (Agnes) van den Berg is an environmental psychologist from the Netherlands who specializes in research on health benefits of green space. She is a pioneering and leading researcher in this field. Van den Berg has conducted many studies on the importance of contact with nature for children, in particular children with ADHD and children from deprived backgrounds. She is currently promotor of a large PhD project on the benefits of greening school grounds. Since 2012 Van den Berg has held an endowed professorship in landscape perception and evaluation at the University of Groningen. She combines her professorship with her own privately owned research company.



fayqa-abdulla-ashkananiFayqa is a Planning & Quality Department Director at the Ministry of Municipality & Environment. She has 16 years of experience in public and private industries and a Master Degree in Environment Studies. Recent roles include being Director of Qatar pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008 and Expo Antalya 2016, Head of monitoring and follow up section – general department of agricultural and water research in Ministry of Municipal and Agriculture MMAA, and Technical assistant in general department of agricultural and water research in MMAA.



kelvin-kanKelvin graduated in Scotland and worked in some leading architectural practices in London before obtaining his MSc in Construction in Management from Kingston University (UK). Kelvin practiced as an architect in Singapore since 1993 and then in the glass industry before becoming a facade specialist. With the unusual hybrid of expertise, Kelvin founded AgFacadesign (AgFd) an architectural practice in 2009 and G FACADESIGN Pte Ltd (GFD) a facade consultancy firm in 2013 to provide an integrated design approach using the building envelope, to achieve seamless and ‘green’ architectural and facade solutions. Kelvin believe values are further enhanced through an efficient and skillful process of adapting “standard” systems and components that complements each other to achieve functional and innovative designs. With the diverse but complimentary expertise, AgFd’s first completed project, 158 Cecil Street, Singapore won First Prize in the 2011 SIA/NParks “Skyrise Greenery” awards with a design, which seamlessly blurred the boundaries between architecture, glazing/green technologies with a façade system incorporating a “Hanging-garden”. 158 Cecil Street was also shortlisted in the 2012 World Architecture Festival, 2013 Singapore President’s Design Awards and featured in YouTube “Singapore: Biophilic City”.


Nilüfer-DanisNilufer is an experienced Chartered Landscape Architect (CMLI) and the multi award – winning garden designer specialising in private, public and commercial projects such as domestic gardens, urban squares, public realms, housing developments, schools, parks and show gardens. She is owner of Lotus Design Studio. ( Her work has been recognised with a number of awards through a diverse range of project briefs. These include three gold medals, two awards for ‘Best Show Garden’ and two awards for ‘Best Trade Stand’ at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Originally from Turkey, Nilufer moved to the UK in 2000, after completing her BS in Landscape Architecture at Istanbul University. She continued her education, completing a garden design course at Harrow College, an MA at the University of Greenwich and Landscape Institute Chartership. Her latest international design projects are first public park – Commonwealth Park, in Gibraltar, and Green Oasis Garden in EXPO Antalya, providing all aspects of landscape design services (master planning to detailing and consultancy) for Gibraltar’s and Turkish governments.


richard-daigneaultRichard is a graduate of the University of Toronto, with 25 years of experience practicing Urban Design & Landscape Architecture in both the provinces of Ontario and Québec.   Richard is a Senior Project Manager with the National Capital Commission where he has been working with the Design & Construction Division for over 22 years. He has developed a unique expertise in multi-disciplinary urban design and streetscape redevelopment projects as one of the key professionals responsible for implementing the renowned Confederation Boulevard ceremonial route in the heart of Canada’s Capital.   Recent projects and initiatives involve multi-modal mobility studies and urban cycling infrastructure development projects, including some of the very first segregated on-road cycling lanes in the City.


richard-louvRichard is the author of nine books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder and The Nature Principle. Translated into 15 languages and published in 20 countries, his books have helped launch an international movement to connect children and their families to nature. Serving as companion handbook to the two prior books, his most recent book is Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life (Algonquin Books, April, 2016). Richard Louv is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network. He has written for the New York Times, the Times of London, Parents Magazine and many other publications, and has appeared on CBS This Morning, NPRs Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air, the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and other programs. Among other awards, Louv is the recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal; past recipients have included Rachel Carson, E.O. Wilson and Jimmy Carter. In 2010, he delivered the plenary keynote at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and in 2012 was keynote speaker at the first White House Summit on Environmental Education. He is currently working on his tenth book, about the evolving relationship between humans and other animals.


 Prof.Veli-OrtaçeşmeProf.Dr. Veli Ortacesme is an academic staff at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey. He obtained his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in landscape architecture in Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey. He conducted another M.Sc. study on European protected area policies in the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), Spain. During his academic career, he participated in many national and international conferences and produced many scientific articles, papers, books and book chapters. His specialty and research interests include landscape planning and design, urban green spaces, protected areas and coastal area planning and management. He speaks English and Spanish.


speakersDr. Xie Zhengyi is currently Party Secretary of the CPC Yangzhou Municipal Committee, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Yangzhou Municipal People’s Congress. He is senior engineer with both postgraduate diploma and doctorate degree on Political Economy. Before coming to Yangzhou, he was the Director-General of Jiangsu Provincial Information Industry Department. He began his career in Yangzhou in 2009. As a city leader and manager, he vigorously promotes the construction of urban park system in Yangzhou with a roadmap of providing local citizens with outdoor spaces of multiple functions before 2021. The urban park system aims to make sure that a community park can be reached within 5-minute walk for residents of city and 5-minute cycling for residents of countryside. Currently, there are already 185 parks of different categories in Yangzhou for people to excise and enjoy leisure out-door activities. Besides, Dr. Xie was also led two rounds of “Green New Yangzhou” action plans through which to secure investment and land use on ecological development and environment protection.