On 2 March 2020, the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) brought together key industry players in the beautiful city of Miami, Florida – the cargo gateways of America.
The three-day event, entitled ‘Growing The Industry’ is coordinated by the association as part of its Spring Meeting, and supported by AmericanHort, to enable knowledge exchange and facilitate discussion on growing the ornamental industry.
Day one, on Monday, was the Expo Conference and it gave the international delegates the latest updates on forthcoming AIPH-approved International Horticultural Expos. Delegates heard progress reports from representatives for A1 World Horticultural Exhibitions including Expo 2021 Doha (Qatar); Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere (the Netherlands); Expo Horticultural 2024 Łódź (Poland) and World Horticultural Exhibition 2027 Yokohama (Japan). There was also a progress report from B International Horticultural Exhibition Expo 2023 Kahramanmaraş (Turkey).
On this theme, Ibo Gülsen, managing director of IGMPR, the Netherlands, gave a speech about How Garden Tourism can benefit Expo and Legacy development and operation. An AIPH-approved outdoor exhibition gathers breeders, growers, landscapers, governments, and other invested parties to host these events that are open to the public and help to promote floriculture and the image of the host country.
In his talk, Gülsen gave a history lesson about the ancient gardens in Turkey, Babylon, Venice, Italy, and many other cities and cultures that embraced the concept of grand landscaped spaces filled with local flora and fauna. He spoke about how the same awe and delight continues to this day with more than 100 garden destinations in the world.
In the afternoon, the focus switched from garden tourism to urban living with the AIPH Green City Reports. Keynote speaker, Dr Tim Beatley Professor of Sustainable Communities in the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, gave a fascinating presentation about connecting cities with nature entitled development of the Biophilic Cities movement in the USA. The biophilic cities organisation has 22 member cities globally that participate in the program, and they meet to share ideas, failures and successes.
Afterwards, there was an opportunity for members to share their latest Green City news and talking about the developments and investments. The speakers were from Chinese Taipei, the Netherlands, Brazil, South Korea and Canada. For example, Taipei is planting one million trees, Brazil has been tearing-up grey concrete spaces and planting foliage in its place, and have a community program that offers bus fares in exchange for recyclable materials. In South Korea, they are planting 10 million trees and want to turn “grey into green”.
Day two, Tuesday 3 March, is the AIPH conference, and it will focus on understanding the US market and how it is developing. Opened by keynote speaker, Anna Ball, CEO of Ball Horticultural Company, we are privileged to be hearing from the best informed in the industry.