Green City Briefings 2022/23

AIPH, in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, presented the AIPH Green City Briefings 2022/23, sponsored by Expo 2023 Doha, Qatar. This series featured cities around the world that demonstrate significant progress in including plants and nature in their city’s form and function.

Each one-hour webinar started with a presentation by an expert describing how urban greening benefits the city, its residents, and nature. The second presentation was from a city demonstrating practices that create transformational change. Facilitated by a fellow leader on the topic, there was a discussion structured around submitted questions.

The sessions available on-demand are:

Feature City: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The introductory briefing presents the worldwide adoption of living green in cities as a result of compelling evidence of the benefits for city resilience and citizen health and wellbeing. It responds to a global shift in thinking that addresses climate change adaptation alongside climate change mitigation.

The feature city is Buenos Aires, a finalist in the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022 for their initiative focused on socio-urban integration in the midst of an ecological reserve. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Dr. Heather Barrett-Mold, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, introduced speakers Nathalie Nunes, a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, and Gabriel Mraida and Delfina Matarazzo of the Housing Institute of the City of Buenos Aires.

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Feature City: Doha, Qatar

This briefing focused on design and plant selection for challenging climates, featuring Doha in Qatar and the Expo 2023 Doha landscape.

Techniques that enable the sustainable cultivation of trees and crops in arid lands play an important role in reversing desertification problems evident around the world. The theme of Expo 2023 Doha is ‘Green Desert, Better Environment’. The Expo aims to draw attention to the threats of desertification and the potential solutions that can be employed.

In this briefing, MC Mark Laurence, Founder of Mark Laurence Design Ltd, introduced speakers Harry Watkins, Executive Director for St Andrews Botanic Garden in Fife, Scotland, and Francesco Roesler, Lead Landscape Masterplanner for Dar London.

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Feature City: Hyderabad India

This briefing features the Grand Winner of the inaugural AIPH World Green City Awards: Hyderabad, India.

Their initiative titled ‘Green Garland to the State of Telangana’ also won the Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth’ category.

This city’s world leading program has exemplified the power of plants to support better urban environments. With remarkable parks, plantations, and lakes this session focuses on the incredible work occurring in Hyderabad and globally to harness the opportunities found in innovative urban design. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Bill Hardy, Chair of the AIPH Green City Committee, introduced speakers Bishop Ngobeli, Manager of Protected Areas and Enforcement at Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, and Arvind Kumar IAS, Special Chief Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department, Government of Telangana.

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Feature City: Mexico City, Mexico

This briefing features the winner of the ‘Living Green for Climate Change’ category of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Mexico City, Mexico.

As climate change increases pressure and challenges for cities worldwide, this session focuses on strategies that promote the power of plants in creating adapted and resilient urban environments. Mexico City has been inspired to sow parks for its citizens, native wildlife and future generations. Thanks to the Green Challenge, the increase in the annual production of plants went from less than 500 thousand in 2018 to more than 10 million in 2021, which has resulted in the planting of over 34,000,000 trees and plants. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Katharina Metz, Content and Community Manager for use: urban sustainability exchange, introduced speakers Dr Mario Balzan, Researcher at the Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology, and Valder Pliego del Ángel, Advisor for the Mexico City Environment Secretariat.

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Feature City: Montréal, Canada

This briefing features the winner of the ‘Living Green for Water’ category of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Montréal, Canada.

In urban environment’s water plays a key role in both risk and necessity. From flood risk through to clean drinking water, how water is managed in cities is becoming an ever pressing matter. Montréal Botanical Garden’s latest project includes the creation of a phytotechnology station focused on how different plant species can be used to extract or degrade certain contaminants from soil excavated during construction works. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Tim Badman, Head of the Heritage, Culture and Youth Team in IUCN, introduced speakers Gary Grant, Technical Director at the Green Infrastructure Consultancy, and Joan Laur, Scientific Director of the Pathway to Phytotechnology at the Montréal Botanical Garden.

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Feature City: Paris, France

This briefing features the winner of the ‘Living green for social cohesion’ category of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Paris, France.

Greener environments encourage people to spend more time in outdoor spaces, improving social interaction and community cohesion which in turn contributes to reduced crime. This webinar showcased the role of schoolyards in becoming transformative spaces for climate ready cities with cohesive communities. The Oasis Schoolyard’s project, launched in 2018, and, supported by the City of Paris, seeks to transform existing outdoor spaces through renewing and greening all 770 schoolyards by 2050. The project responds simultaneously to multiple urban issues such as thermal conditions, lack of green areas within the city, and the design of appropriate public spaces for children growing up in the city. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Dominic Regester, Director of Education and Director of the Center for Education Transformation at Salzburg Global Seminar, introduced speakers Heidi Campbell, Senior Program Manager for Evergreen (Canada), and Raphaëlle Thiollier, Oasis Schoolyards Project Manager.

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Feature City: Bogotá D.C., Colombia

This briefing features the winner of Category Living Green for Biodiversity category of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Bogotá, Colombia

City biodiversity has an increasingly important role to play in global conservation efforts. Cities have a role in providing habitats to support ecological communities for a diverse range of living organisms. Plants provide the backbone for all nature to thrive. “The greening of Bogotá” is a public policy included in the District Development Plan 2020-2024: “A New Social and Environmental Contract for the Bogotá of the 21st Century”. Its purpose is to improve the quality of the natural, built and regional environment from the perspective of generating well-being conditions for the population and other living beings present in the territory. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Jennifer Rae Pierce, Head of Partnerships and Engagement at the Urban Biodiversity Hub, introduced speakers Dr Eric Sanderson, Vice President of Urban Conservation Strategy at The New York Botanical Garden, and Martha Liliana Perdomo Ramirez, General Director of the Botanical Garden of Bogotá.

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Feature City: Fortaleza, Brazil

This briefing features the winner of Category Living Green for Health and Wellbeing category of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Fortaleza, Brazil

Research demonstrates that people are measurably happier when they work and live in green surroundings. This comes from both physical and psychological benefits. Improved health results in lower costs for health-care providers, and benefits the economy through improved productivity and lower absenteeism. In the context of Fortaleza, where access to public leisure areas is restricted and unequal, the Urban Micro Parks have become a low-cost and fast implementation way to create places to meet in areas with high population density whilst ensuring people’s health and wellbeing. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Dr Audrey Timm, AIPH Technical Advisor, introduced speakers Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, Postdoctoral Wellbeing Fellow at the Royal Horticultural Society and the University of Sheffield Department of Landscape Architecture, and Luciana Mendes Lobo, Secretary of Urbanism and Environment of the city of Fortaleza.

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Feature City: Mashhad, Iran

This briefing features a finalist of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Mashhad, Iran and the Transformative Beltway to Green Belt project. Read the case study.

Responding to urban growth and development is a challenge for cities around the world. Integrating plants and green spaces into urban projects has multiple benefits. This includes reducing air pollution, creating spaces for recreation and improving residential areas. Quality Green Infrastructure increases the value of both residential and business property. A more attractive environment stimulates inward investment and encourages additional visitors to a city.

In this briefing, MC Dr Audrey Timm, AIPH Technical Advisor, introduced speakers Julian Dobson, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, and Dr Mahdi Jalili Mehrabani, Project Manager for Development of West of Mashhad.

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Feature City: Utrecht, Netherlands

This briefing features a finalist of the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022: Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Green urban spaces provide a range of benefits to both humans and nature including improved air quality, space for physical activity and improved biodiversity. The creation of urban parks can help cities to respond to growing populations and climate change.

The city of Utrecht has committed to a ‘‘Healthy Urban Living for all’-approach, through prioritising environments that are simultaneously less polluted and encourage healthy behaviour amongst its inhabitants. The city has a ‘Green Grows Along’ approach to  urban planning, in which urban development must be accompanied by similar development of nearby green-blue spaces. Read the case study.

In this briefing, MC Jayne Miller, CEO of Jayne Miller Consulting and Principal at PROS Consulting, introduced speakers Hans Smolenaers, Landscape Architect at Arcadis, and Jeroen Schenkels, Senior Advisor/Project Leader in Urban Planning for the city of Utrecht.

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Feature City: London, UK

This Briefing returned to the subject of the 2021 series of AIPH Green City Briefings: London, UK.

Plants in cities often form part of urban climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Climate resilient planting provides new ways to develop city planting schemes which are less resource demanding and more sustainable.

This session gives an update on climate resilient planting in London, as well as the latest research trialling the resilience of hedge and shrub plants vital to green infrastructure. Watch the previous series of Briefings.

In this briefing, MC Nicholas Woolf OBE KStJ, Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, introduced speakers Henrik Sjöman, Curator at Gothenburg Botanical Garden and Teacher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, and Gordon Roy, District Surveyor and Environmental Resilience Director at the City of London Corporation.

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Feature City: Doha, Qatar | Expo 2023 Doha

This final briefing highlights the many opportunities to harness the power of plants to create healthier, biodiverse, and more sustainable cities.

In particular, the session explored the selection of species that are adapted for certain climates, using the AIPH Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha as an example of planting in a desert climate.

In this briefing, MC Tim Briercliffe, AIPH Secretary Genera, introduced speakers Dr Mingyu Jiang, Teaching Associate in Agriculture, Horticulture And Engineering Sciences at SRUC, and Sam Lemheney, Event Producer at Creative Event Solutions, Inc.

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