Floriade shows hope in the age of climate change

After all, there are all kinds of fun and relevant things to see at the green World Exhibition in Almere, says the landscape architect, who was already involved in 5 of the 7 Floriades. Like the research that TU Delft is doing in the Climate Arboretum. The effect that trees have on the temperature in the built environment is measured. At the moment, in the midst of another heat wave, no one can miss the relevance of this. Shading and cooling by evaporating plants through their leaves can reduce summer heat by several degrees, says Roozen.

Niek Roozen spoke yesterday at the start of the #LoveFloriade Roadtour. Today and until Sunday, a promotion team, set up by florist Jan de Boer and supported by the Flower Council of the Netherlands, Royal FloraHolland flower auction and GroentenFruit Huis, will tour the city and the country, armed with a refreshing message and boxes full of discount coupons.

The #LoveFloriade promotion team for the mobile greenhouse traveling through the western Netherlands until Sunday. – Photo: Ton van der Scheer

“Floriaden has been a sought-after export product since the 1980s,” says Roozen, giving the go-ahead for this trip to the horticulture. “In 1983, the first green exhibition outside the Netherlands was held in Munich. Since then there have been 40 such international exhibitions, as far as China.” In Roozen’s view, Floriades all over the world are one of the building blocks of the solid reputation that Dutch horticulture has internationally.

More interest among green young people

What struck him at the current Floriade in Almere is the interest of young people. “This week I participated in a podcast by a 24-year-old green influencer. Young people who consciously think about the future will find here many examples of how things can be done differently. Take the hundred different bio-based materials that have been incorporated into the Dutch pavilion.”

Growing plants in the dry and salty desert

Or take the United Arab Emirates pavilion, which shows how to grow plants and grow food in a desert with drought and salinity. Marco van Zijverden, CEO of the Dutch Flower Group, speaking in his personal capacity yesterday and as chairman of the Floriade Advisory Council for Flowers and Plants, cited this example of hope in times of climate doom.

‘Fighting for another Floriade in 10 years’

And perhaps the most outspoken was TV gardener Ivo Putman, known for De Grote Tuinverbouwing. He knows better than anyone how popular greens and gardens are. He finds it all the more surprising that there is so much criticism of the Floriade. “I made a garden there myself with a wonderful team of enthusiastic, driven people. Criticism is of course allowed, but really only if you have been there to see it yourself.” According to Putman, this also applies to people from the horticulture itself. “Let’s all fight for green and fight for another Floriade in 10 years.”

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