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Year in Review: AIPH Green City Initiative 2023

A year on from the 2022 Year in Review, it’s that time of the year where we reflect on what we have achieved and look to the future with raised ambition and expectancy of what is to come. AIPH proudly presents an overview of our Green City activities throughout 2023.

We started the year with the continuation of the AIPH Green City Briefings 2022/23 webinar series, which proudly featured a range of renowned experts, researchers, and practitioners, as well as Finalists and winning cities from the 2022 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards. With the support of Expo 2023 Doha, Qatar and The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, this series focussed more closely on greening principles that benefit the city, its residents, and nature and how practice creates transformational change. The recordings of the full series are now available for on-demand viewing. We invite you to be inspired via the playlist below.

In early 2023, the focus of the AIPH Green City team was on building strategic partnerships to support various activities of the AIPH Green City Initiative. We are proud to have grown the network of partners for the AIPH World Green City Awards to include close to 30 leading organisations. Notable partnership announcements included CDP, IUCN, and IFLA, to name just a few. Our partnering work is ongoing, with impressive levels of support for AIPH’s Green City Initiative from key UN agencies and other global organisations and networks.

On 22nd March 2023, AIPH and the extensive network of partners announced the call for entries for the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards. Building on the legacy of the inaugural 2022 edition, we received keen interest from over 160 cities, resulting in an impressive number of entries by the deadline for submission of entries in September 2023.

On World Cities Day, AIPH announced the Technical Panel for the AIPH World Green City Awards 2024. The prestigious Technical Panel comprises 28 multi-disciplinary experts whose expertise spans across the seven award categories. Their role is to select the list of Finalists by assessing and scoring all eligible entries against the six judging criteria.

With scoring set to be completed by early 2024, the Technical Panel will present the list of 21 Finalists and recommendations for Certificate of Merit recipients to the Jury for the second stage of judging. AIPH will reveal the world-renowned Jury shortly after the announcement of the Finalists on 5th March 2024 at the AIPH Green City Conference in Doha, Qatar.

Showcasing innovative and successful cities,  the AIPH Green City Case Study Collection profiles the case studies from the AIPH World Green City Awards 2022, which you can view here. To highlight the connection between the ornamental horticulture sector and successful urban greening, AIPH commissioned a new series of case studies in 2023. These provide examples from around the world that demonstrate the increasingly influential role that the ornamental horticulture industry is playing in creating and maintaining green cities.

AIPH further demonstrates how the ornamental horticulture industry makes a significant contribution to city greening initiatives throughout the year, with this being the theme of the AIPH Green City Conference which took place on 20th September 2023 as part of the 75th AIPH Annual Congress in Suncheon, Republic of Korea.

The new Youth Award for the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards was announced by AIPH and the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) in December 2022 at the Youth Summit in Montreal. In September 2023, working closing with our partner GYBN, we launched the call for applications for the Youth Jury. This Youth Jury will select from the 21 Finalists in the AIPH World Green City Awards 2024 a shortlist of three cities from which the winner of the AIPH Youth Award will be decided. This accolade will be awarded to the top entry most likely to inspire the youth and fulfil their needs for a secure, healthy future. The 15 members of the Youth Jury will be announced in January 2024.

The AIPH Global Green City Forum continued to grow in 2023, boasting a strong start with 120 active members who are learning, sharing, and benefitting from being a part of this unique online community. Similarly, we have continued to share our work, and the work of our partners and the broader global green city community through our monthly AIPH Global Green City Updates and our Green City Post articles in FloraCulture International (FCI) magazine.

Looking ahead, we anticipate completing a second successful edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards, which will culminate in a dedicated gala dinner and Awards ceremony to be held in September 2024. It is at this momentous occasion where the category winners and Grand Winner will be announced, and where the 2026 edition of the AIPH World Green City will be launched.

AIPH is excited to host the ‘Living Green, Liveable Cities’ Research Symposium from 4-5th February 2024 in Doha, Qatar, alongside Expo 2023 Doha Qatar. The Research Symposium accompanies the special Cities & Health journal issue, with the same name. The AIPH Spring Meeting will also take place in Doha from 3-7 March 2024, with an AIPH Green City Conference scheduled for the 5th March. Shortly thereafter, we plan to launch the next series of AIPH Green City Briefings.

We look forward to working with our partners and to mobilising a larger network of cities and urban practitioners in 2024 to continue inspiring a global movement aimed at shaping greener, healthier, and more resilient cities.

Timothy Blatch
Green City Consultant