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World Urban Parks announces partnership with International horticultural producers to promote greener cities

World Urban Parks announces partnership with International horticultural producers to promote greener cities
November 1, 2021

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and World Urban Parks (WUP) have announced the signing of a statement of collaboration that formalises their global partnership to support greener, healthier, and more liveable cities.

AIPH is the world’s champion for the power of plants. AIPH supports the work of its grower associations globally and together champions a prosperous industry, growing plants that enhance lives, advance societies, and sustain our planet for this generation and the next. AIPH strives to reignite and uphold an appreciation of plants that we believe is a basic human instinct.

AIPH also leads global thinking on the successful integration of nature into the built environment. The AIPH Green City program promotes awareness of the urgent need for urban greening. Plants and nature form the foundation on which our increasingly urban lives depend. Through its Green City programme, AIPH advocates for the essential role of plants in creating vibrant urban areas and aims to develop an international standard for green cities as well as being a focal point for green city best practice and a source of expertise.

World Urban Parks as an international organisation representing the vibrant urban parks, open space and recreation sector globally. World Urban Parks combines the experience of its members and partners with opportunities to help build urban parks leadership and bring about significant improvements in cities where rapid urbanisation is occurring.

Providing a forum for the exchange of ideas on common environmental, social and economic challenges where urban parks are part of the solution, World Urban Parks’ vision is a world where people value and have easy access to quality urban parks, open space and recreation. Their mission is to promote and support the provision, effective management and use of urban parks, open space and recreation world-wide as an integral contribution to healthy communities connected to the natural world.

The partnership between AIPH and World Urban Parks aligns the common goals of each organisation in pursuit of co-promoting the benefits of plants and nature in creating urban parks and green spaces. Together, AIPH and World Urban Parks support the response to the global imperative to embrace a nature-oriented approach to city planning, operation, and governance. Urban parks provide opportunities for people to experience the power of plants first-hand. Plants are the cornerstone of creating vibrant urban parks and open spaces, which contribute significantly to building healthier communities and cities where nature takes centre stage. Thus, this collaboration is positioned at the nexus of nature, people, and cities.

Dr Audrey Timm, Technical Advisor to the AIPH Green City Program, commented “harnessing the power of plants to create vibrant, healthy, and green cities is more critical now than ever before, and both AIPH and World Urban Parks are strongly committed to our joint pursuit of championing this ambitious global pursuit.

“Parks and green spaces are places where human-nature connections are forged and strengthened, especially in our increasingly urban lives. Together we aim to ignite a global movement that celebrates cities who are champions for the multiple benefits of living green in the urban context.”

At a time when cities are growing rapidly, and nature is diminishing at alarming rates, urgent action is needed to restore, protect, and manage urban natural habitats and find nature-based solutions to our ever-increasing urban challenges. Plants provide multiple benefits and ecosystem services which have the potential to deliver these solutions and create cities that are filled with nature, urban parks, and open spaces.

Cities and local authorities play a key role in enabling this ambitious action and in harnessing this potential. Thus, they are well-positioned to make significant contributions to sustaining our planet, for this generation and the next. It is in cities where the battle for nature will be won, and both AIPH and World Urban Parks are aligned in our joint mission to enable the urban green transformation that we so urgently need now, more than ever before.

WUP Chief Executive, Neil McCarthy added “as the world strives to address the challenges of creating liveable cities, the power of plants and nature will play an increasing significant role. World Urban Parks is very proud to partner with AIPH to promote the benefits of greener cities which are fit for the future. Harnessing our strengths, we are thrilled to jointly champion urban greening and access to nature for all who live in cities.”

This partnership has been formalised through the joint signing of a statement of collaboration to advance the shared vison of both organisations for connecting people with plants and nature, particularly in the urban context. World Urban Parks and AIPH will work collaboratively to foster effective action and advocacy for urban plants, nature, and greening through the promotion of urban parks, gardens, green open spaces, and protected areas and by forging closer connections between the horticulture industry, urban nature practitioners, business, and city authorities. Both partners will work across generations, borders, languages, cultures, and sectors to promote access to and understanding of the multiple benefits of plants and nature and inspire and empower people from all walks of life to connect with - and care for - plants and nature, particularly in and around urban areas.

By way of demonstrating the partnership in action, AIPH has taken up an active role on the World Urban Parks COVID-19 Expert Panel and have more recently come on board as a gold partner to support the upcoming World Urban Parks Congress. Similarly, AIPH welcomes World Urban Parks as a supporting partner for the flagship AIPH World Green City Awards, an ongoing competition, with entries open every two years. These Awards are designed to champion ambitious nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation. Specifically, they seek to recognise public initiatives relying on a greater use of plants and nature to create better city environments. AIPH initiated these awards to bring wide recognition to the value of plants and nature in providing solutions for common city problems and to create an enabling environment to shape and nurture a strategic shift in city governance/planning- helping to fulfil local aspirations for improved economic, social and environmental resilience.

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Image: Carlton Gardens, Melbourne. Credit: Visit Melbourne.

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