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‘It’s looking good’ reports Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere to AIPH

Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere organising committee presents its final progress report to AIPH before opening on 14 April.

In a recorded video presentation, Frank Cornelissen, the Chief Commercial Officer of Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere gave a progress update to the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) executive board and members on 7 March at the AIPH Spring Meeting’s Expo Conference.

AIPH approved Expo 2022 Floriade as an A1 Category during our annual congress in Qingdao, China in 2014 and have supported the organisers since. This is the seventh Floriade to be approved by AIPH since 1960.

This World Horticultural Expo has the theme of Growing Green Cities. An apt subject for a need that has become very evident globally during the past two years of Covid-19 restrictions as people sought and found harmony interacting with nature.

“We’re all about exploring how we can make our cities greener, healthier, and future proof,” explains Mr Cornelissen. “All of our participants, international as well as national, will be reflecting on that theme and we’ll be sharing their best practices and their solutions to some of the challenges that we as a world face.”

The 60-hectare (150 acres) Expo site is uniquely located in the middle of Almere city, surrounded by water, with a motorway running through it and a cable car riding high above it.

One of the main features demonstrating Dutch horticulture will be the Arboretum. It has been master-planned by the famous Dutch architect Winy Maas into an 800 by 800 metres square grid and placed on top of existing features such as woodland, water, island, and the highway. It provides a geometric regularity that visitors will easily understand and navigate around.

Famed landscape designer Niek Roozen from the Netherlands put his signature upon a bold planting scheme with the Green City Arboretum as a shining example of the city’s green development. The botanical collection will contain 750 tree genera, 90,000 shrubs and 200,000 perennials planted in alphabetical order.

The Arboretum at Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere

Mr Cornelissen says, “The Arboretum is a permanent feature and after the Expo it will become an integral part of the residential neighbourhood and will benefit the people living there.”

He continues: “The municipality of Almere is one of the biggest cities in the Netherlands. Currently, there are 215,000 people living in the city. Predictions are that the city will be expanding to 300,000 residents in the next decade. There are also plans to expand further to house 400,000 residents which means that it will be one of the top five cities in the Netherlands.

Located in the Flevoland Polder, Almere was created to supply housing for the urban expansion of Amsterdam and the Randstad area in the 1970s, without the need for existing cities to expand. The goal was to preserve the “Green Heart”, a large green and natural area within the Randstad circle. You can read more in an AIPH Green City case study here.

The Floriade’s Greenhouse Complex will represent a significant architectural addition to the World Horticultural Expo, while also reflecting the Expo’s commitment to sustainability.

The Floriade Greenhouse has a floor space of 10,000m2 is 170 metres long and includes five sections: a reception area, a hi-tech greenhouse, an experience greenhouse, a technology and innovation centre and a restaurant.

The complex aims to reduce carbon footprints and reflects the Netherlands’ leadership in horticultural technology. It will highlight how greenhouse structures help build circular agriculture, combat climate change, increase biodiversity and feed the ever-growing world population.”

Construction of international pavilions are nearing completion too with gardens from China, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, India, Luxembourg, Nepal, Thailand, and Turkey.

In particular, the construction of the Satoyama Farm Garden from Japan is the first international submission to be nearing completion. Visitors will soon discover that the themes of Satoyama are closely related to the main theme “Growing Green Cities”.

The Satoyama Farm Garden from Japan is the first international submission to be nearing completion

AIPH Secretary General Tim Briercliffe says, “With many exciting projects, initiatives and landscape innovations, this Floriade is set to offer a great experience for every visitor while pushing forward the progress towards greener cities across the globe.”

From now until 2027, AIPH has approved the following Expos for cities in China, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey.

Expo 2022 Floriade Amsterdam Almere progress report can be viewed here

Rachel Wakefield

Communications Executive and Associate Editor
United Kingdom