Exhibitors and attendees hail the second Landscape Istanbul Fair a success

Türkiye’s most influential horticultural and landscaping trade show occurred in Istanbul between 16-18 November 2023, featuring 120 exhibitors occupying nearly 7,000 net sqm. Landscape Istanbul Fair (LIF). Exhibitors and visitors hailed the second edition of LIF a success, with good attendance numbers and quality visitors.

The three-day event happened at the Istanbul Trade Fair Centre, not far from the old Ataturk airport, and had an incredible display of trees, shrubs, garden plants, houseplants, and starter plants on the show floor, plus a two-day inspiring and thought-provoking World Urban Parks conference.

The conference boasted a line-up of international speakers. It included presentations detailing case studies and the latest thought leadership on critical issues for planning and maintaining parks and urban green spaces.

One such speaker was UK-based Paul Rabbitts, currently Parks and Open Spaces manager at Norwich City Council and founder and Chair of the UK Parks Management Association.
With a deep historical knowledge and a wealth of personal experience throughout the UK, Rabbitts demonstrated to delegates how we need a new ‘revolution’ in park building and management for the 21st Century.

He called for a more holistic approach to education, embracing today’s many aspects of landscaping, the appointment of ‘brand ambassadors’ and a government champion, and collaborating with today’s green influencers. He also urged for improved visibility of the sector and its people, strategic parks management and focus on the many health benefits of urban green spaces when liaising with public health authorities.

Another international expert who shared his knowledge during the WUP conference was Stephan Treuke. In his ‘The Emscher River Conversion – Flowing in the right direction’ presentation, the project director of Emscherland – an inter-municipal park in Germany, chartered the journey of the restoration of the Emscher River and how the project evolved into a vital tool to counteract climate change and biodiversity loss for the entire region.

As an expert specialising in landscape architecture and urban forestry at the Delft University of Technology, Rene van der Velde focuses on developing climate-proof, healthy and resilient cities via fundamental and applied research in and around urban forestry and green infrastructure.

In Istanbul, he discussed the Urban Climate Arboreta project, the relationship between tree architecture(s) and heat stress mitigation, and the Atlas of Tree City Holland project, mapping the cultural-historical, socio-spatial and physical-ecological dimensions of the urban forest in lowland cities.

Dennis Habers, asset manager of Urban Green Spaces and Trees of the city of Rotterdam, explained how his city of 600.000 inhabitants faces significant challenges such as climate change and loss of biodiversity in urban landscapes. He touched on the city’s parks’ role in water storage and urban heat island effect reduction. Water and parks play a central role in Rotterdam, but the city also focuses on climate change’s social, economic and ecological effects.

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