While I was driving through the huge city of São Paulo, the enormous green wall of an apartment building caught my eye. Various plants coloured the wall green and brownish green. Somewhere at the height of the tenth floor, I saw a gardener floating, like a window cleaner would, between the plants. I spotted more green walls during my drive and another one inside a shopping centre, later on. I guess I had become more conscious of them now. I also noticed that there’s more and more interesting greenery along the smelly canal that flows through the city.
Last week, I was in Taichung (Taiwan), where I represented Brazilian producers’ organisation Ibraflor at the annual AIPH conference. One of the working groups is called ‘Green City’. In this context, Sam Lemheney gave a presentation on the work of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in the city of Philadelphia.
Sam reported on the positive effects of more greenery in cities. It doesn’t just make for more beautiful cities, it also improves liveability and leads to less littering, lower crime rates, higher property values and it encourages people to invest more in their environment. This can also be found in some of the official reports, such as ‘The Green City Health Report’.
One of the things I learned is that the Australian government’s objective is to reach a 20% increase of green space in their cities by 2020, as part of a project called 202020 Vision.
The above mentioned positive effects can be substantiated by measuring them over the years. A way to turn costs into investments. Sam Lemheney mentioned partnerships between investment groups and the plant and flower sector, the so-called Green City Funds. So there’s a role for our sector in all this. Billions are spent on urban development each year.
With green space as a permanent element of urban development, it’s fairly easy to forecast how much money is going to be invested in plants. What I learned last week is that ‘Green City’ has great potential for plant producers.
Let’s investigate the opportunities for our sector and get the ball rolling!
André van Kruijssen,
CEO Veiling Holambra