Melbourne Green City Conference

AIPH to reveal secrets of a Healthy and Sustainable City

Please find the Melbourne Green City Brochure here.

City decision makers, planners, landscape architects and the horticulture industry are invited to attend the next International Green City Conference of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).  Leading experts in health and sustainability have been secured to speak at the conference which will take place at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) in Melbourne, Australia on 22 March 2018 in association with Nursery Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) and Principle R&D Partner, Hort Innovation.

The conference, entitled ‘Towards a Healthy and Sustainable City’ aims to demonstrate how Green Cities are places where people want to live, how it helps them and how ‘living green’ is used to achieve this.

Presentations include how to make high density cities healthier through greening and why green space matters in the fight to prevent heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimers.  Also, covered will be the role of green roofs and case study examples from Korea and Singapore.

High level speakers will outline the strategy for future Green Cities, including Dr. Melanie Davern from RMIT University, Melbourne; Dr. Xiaoqi Feng and Dr. Thomas Astell-Burt from University of Wollongong; Neil McCarthy, CEO of World Urban Parks; Prof. Kim Sung-Kyun of Seoul National University and Andy Kwek from Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

Chair of the AIPH Green City Committee, Ms Karen Tambayong commented “I am delighted that AIPH can open this invitation to attend a Green City conference made up of such high calibre speakers from Australia and other countries.  I look forward to a high level debate on how greening can make cities healthier and more sustainable.”

The event will take place during a week of AIPH activities in Melbourne.  See

AIPH International Green City Conference

22nd March 2018
Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, Melbourne, Australia

“Towards a Healthy and Sustainable City”

Conference aims to demonstrate how Green Cities are places where people want to live, how it helps them and how ‘living green’ is used to achieve this.

13:00 – Introduction by Chair, Tim Briercliffe, AIPH Secretary General

Welcome – Karen Tambayong, Chair of AIPH Green City Committee

Why Melbourne is the World’s Most Liveable City – a senior official from Melbourne City Council will outline how they use living green to enhance the quality of life for citizens and how this contributes to Melbourne being named the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row.

Making Cities Greener in Australia – Ben Peacock, Founder of brand, sustainability and innovation Agency, The Republic of Everyone has managed Australia’s Vision 202020 programme from its launch. Ben will introduce this campaign to increase city greening by 20% by 2020.

The Healthy City

Making high density cities more healthy through greening – Dr. Melanie Davern, Senior Research Fellow, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne

Why green space matters for healthy children and adults – Dr Xiaoqi Feng, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Principal Research Fellow (Heart Foundation) and Dr Thomas Astell-Burt, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School-Research, from University of Wollongong, Australia.  Xiaoqi and Thomas will share the evidence on why protecting and developing new green spaces is important for child health and development and also for keeping adults healthy and out of hospital, with a focus on prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease


15:00 – Break

The Sustainable City

The role of parks in making people healthier – Neil McCarthy, CEO of World Urban Parks will explain how well-designed and implemented parks improve the health of citizens

Using Green Infrastructure to improve Seoul – Prof. Kim Sung-Kyun, President of Korean Landscape Institute

The contribution made by Green Roofs to making cities sustainable – Matthew Dillon, President of Green Roofs Australasia

Creating and maintaining a ‘city in a garden’ – Andy Kwek, Senior Director (Conservatory Operations and Engineering) at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore will talk about how Singapore has developed into being a City in a Garden, how it is addressing the challenges of being a green city in the future and why this matters to Singapore.  Andy will also introduce the role of Gardens by the Bay in supporting this aim.


Closing Remarks

17:30 – Close

Dr Thomas Astell-Burt and Dr Xiaoqi Feng

Dr Thomas Astell-Burt is the Associate Professor of Public and Population Health in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong (UOW). Dr Astell-Burt earned his PhD from the University of St Andrews and has held fellowships with the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National Heart Foundation. He is currently a Leadership Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council and a Founding Co-Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab, or ‘PowerLab’, where he leads research to identify what environmental factors keep people healthy and out of hospital.



Dr Xiaoqi Feng is the Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong (UOW). Dr Feng is also a Founding Co-Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab, or ‘PowerLab’, where she leads research on social and environmental factors that influence child and maternal health. Dr Feng is currently a Fellow of the National Heart Foundation of Australia and will take up a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship mid-2018.

Dr Melanie Davern

Dr Melanie Davern is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Healthy Liveable Cities Group within the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. Melanie has specific expertise in the development and applied use of policy-focused social, economic and environmental indicators of wellbeing that assess the social determinants of health. Her research interests focus on the translation of research evidence into policy and practice using indicators of liveability, community and individual wellbeing. Melanie has expertise in policy focused research using indicators as measurement tools for policy development, program evaluation, knowledge translation and community engagement. Her research has created direct changes in policy and practice through collaborative partnerships within academia, industry, community organisations, local, state and federal governments.

Matthew Dillon

Since 2007 Matthew has been an active global advocate for a transition towards green infrastructure urban planning and BIV (Building Integrated Vegetation) systems for the built environment, as a means of mitigating the urban impacts of climate variability and improving urban livability. Currently he is the eVP of the World Green Infrastructure Network; president of Green Roofs Australasia and principal of Verdant Solutions Australia. The foundation of his thirty year career is based in disciplines of landscape design; architecture; project management and sustainable building design.

Accomplished architectural project manager, green infrastructure consultant and advocate for sustainable biophilic cities who is guided by the genius of nature.

Areas of expertise: urban green infrastructure; integration of healthy buildings with ecological city objectives; architecture and landscape design; BIV (building integrated vegetation) Systems.

Extensive knowledge of both theoretical and best practice issues in sustainable green building design, landscape design, urban environmental policy, the mitigation of climate variability impacts and a passion for biophilic design.

Andy Kwek

Andy Kwek is Senior Director of Conservatory Operations and Engineering at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

After graduating with a degree in Construction Economics from RMIT University in Melbourne and with a Master of Science in Project Management from the National University of Singapore, Andy began his career as a Quantity Surveyor in the private sector, working on a number of infrastructure projects

in Singapore and overseas. In 2003, he joined National Parks Board (NParks), the lead government agency responsible for greening Singapore and realising the City in a Garden vision. As Project Manager at NParks, he was involved in several key projects, including the development of the Park Connector Network and the redevelopment of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Since 2005, Andy has been involved in the master plan design and development of Gardens by the Bay, overseeing the development of the Gardens’ cooled conservatories and iconic Supertrees. Having been on this groundbreaking project for the past 12 years, he has developed a strong interest in engineering science and the use of technology in presenting the wonders of the plant world to people. He currently holds two portfolios – the operations of the cooled conservatories and the facilities management for the whole Gardens.

Andy is happy to be back in Melbourne 20 years after graduating from RMIT.

Neil McCarthy

Neil is an international leader in natural resource management with a strong focus on policy and strategy, especially parks and waterways. He has extensive understanding and experience in the complexities required to achieve balance between environment and development for the betterment of the community. Neil has superior communication and negotiating skills, and strong relationships at State Government level including Ministerial, Cabinet, Chief Executive and high-level policy development.

Neil has spent much of his career developing best practice and strategic partnerships between parks and NRM agencies. He has been responsible for leading some of the most significant global initiatives in parks management, including Parks Victoria’s ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People’ program, the creation of Parks Forum (as founding Chair) as a peak Australasian organisation representing parks agencies, the creation of the International Urban Parks and Green Space Alliance, and the review of the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration (as President Elect), and implementation of World Urban Parks (as Vice Chair).

Neil held a number of operational, strategic and corporate executive roles in Parks Victoria before becoming the CEO of the North East Catchment Management Authority in Victoria Australia. He was originally educated in Forest Science with the University of Melbourne, holds an MBA in government policy and reform from Monash University, and did further Executive study at MIT in the USA.

Neil has been recognised for many of his contributions and was World Urban Parks’ 2016 Distinguished Individual Award recipient.  In addition to his role at World Urban Parks, Neil has recently been appointed the CEO of Mosaic Insights and Co-Chair of the International National Park City Panel.

Ian Shears

Over the past decade  Ian and his teams have delivered a $50 million climate adaptation program focussed on strategic green infrastructure interventions in the public realm. This work includes increasing the city’s permeability and urban forest to enhance cooling and mitigate urban heat island impacts, increasing green space and developing a set of stormwater harvesting schemes to reduce reliance on potable water.

Ian and his team have also been credited with the development of some of Australia’s most progressive environmental policies at a city level including the Urban Forest Strategy and Open Space Strategy. His current policy research focuses on understanding the health and economic benefits of green infrastructure, biodiversity and ecology in cities, integrated water management, urban heat island mitigation, the impacts of climate change and catalysing green roofs and walls.

This progressive approach to adapting our city to future climate change was awarded the Adaptation and Resilience Award at the C40 and Siemen City Climate Leadership Awards 2014, the AILA 2016 AILA National Award of Excellence: Research, Policy and Communication for the Urban Forest Strategy, the AILA Victoria Medal 2014, the Best Specific Environmental Initiative for Local Government 2013 by the United Nations Association of Australia at the World Environment Day Awards and was also awarded the inaugural Climate Change Adaptation Award by the Banksia Foundation at the 25th Banksia Awards.

Tony Wong

Professor Tony Wong is Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, with research hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Singapore. Tony is internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management, particularly Water Sensitive Urban Design. His expertise has been gained through consulting, research, and academia. He has led a large number of award-winning projects and received the prestigious Sir John Holland Award as Australia’s Civil Engineer of the Year in 2010, cited as having defined “a new paradigm for design of urban environments that blends creativity with technical and scientific rigour”.

Taking place at:


In association with:


R&D Partner:

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) is a not-for-profit, grower-owned Research and Development Corporation (RDC) for Australia’s $9 billion horticulture industry. Hort Innovation invests around $100 million in research and development (R&D) and marketing programs annually to provide benefit to industry and the wider community. Over the next five years, the Nursery Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) will help guide Hort Innovation’s oversight and management of investment programs for the nursery industry. The SIP lays the foundation for decision-making in levy investments and represents the balanced interests of the industry to ensure levy investment decisions align with industry priorities.