AIPH Green City Conference presents ‘living green’ in action

Bringing nature into the built environment and the local policies and strategies that activate these global agendas was the focus of the 2022 AIPH Green City Conference on 8 March.

Held in the Media Centre of Expo 2020 Dubai, the event brought together a worldwide audience of professionals, organisations, city councils and government administrations to hear how international experts are meeting the ‘living green’ challenge.

(Left) Mr Maher Nasser and (right) Mr Bill Hardy

As the world’s champion for the power of plants, The International Association of Horticultural Producers, AIPH, recognises the essential role that plants play in creating resilient cities and is proud to inspire people into positive action. AIPH Green City Chair Mr Bill Hardy opened the conference to introduce the AIPH Green City programme, stating how the activities reflect the AIPH vision to lead global thinking for collective impact.

Mr Maher Nasser, Director of Outreach in the United Nations Department of Global Communications, spoke with encouragement about AIPH. He says that the United Nations sees great value in any gathering that brings the world together, especially events that improve lives and promote sustainable living.

Mr Nasser began the meeting presenting an urgency of thinking and stating that we all need to explore ways to incorporate nature-based principles. This time is the worst age for nature, said Mr Maher, and everything is at stake if humanity doesn’t shift its thinking towards a liveable and sustainable future.

Mr Nasser’s position at the UN leads to engagement with civil society, academia, and the creative community worldwide. His position gives him a broader picture of humanity’s devastating impact on the planet’s biodiversity as our population increases and cities expand. “Cities need to incorporate nature as part of dedicated urban conservation efforts, and as part of their own sustainability and resilience.”

Singapore as a city and a nation is recognised worldwide for putting this into action. Mr Larry Ng is the Commissioner General, Singapore Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai UAE, and Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. The Minister for National Development also appoints him as the Registrar of the Board of Architects in Singapore.

Singapore Pavilion, Expo 2022 Dubai

In five decades, Mr Ng spoke about how Singapore transformed its city spaces from what was once branded ’a garden city’ to ‘city in the garden’ and now aims to be known as a ‘city in nature’. He explained that it’s not just the vision needed to create necessary green spaces but the deliberate planning and good governance to persevere with a plan that needs constant reviewing, updating, collaborating, and sharing, especially with the developers.

The theme of bold and innovative local action continued with Mr Pablo Arturo Lopez Guijosa presenting an analysis of the overlaps and gaps between local city action and global, national agendas. His conclusions show the importance of engaging local governments and city leaders in greening initiatives.

AIPH Secretary General Tim Briercliffe outlined the work of AIPH in demonstrating how the Horticultural Expos facilitate ambitious city leaders to advance their greening initiatives and the AIPH World Green City Awards that showcase their success.

The final speaker at the conference, Mr Alan White, works in the horticultural industry and is an active campaigner for Green Cities. He represents an AIPH member association, the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Associations. He is their Executive Committee and Chair of the Climate Change Adaptation Committee. He described activities that connect plants and people to inspire and energise the involvement of individuals in climate agendas.

To close the meeting, the audience heard from Mayor Luftus Savas about the ambitions of Hatay, Turkey, to create a greener city for its residents through Expo 2021 Hatay, which opens on 1 April 2022.

Watch the conference on-demand here

(left) Mr Alan White, (middle) Mr Larry Ng, and (right) Mr Pablo Arturo Lopez Guijosa

AIPH is grateful to our Headline Sponsors Expo 2023 Doha Qatar, Expo 2021 Hatay and 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo; Gold Sponsor PERA Event Solutions Bronze Sponsor Mosimann’s.

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