After opening its doors in April, Floriade Expo 2022 has become gorgeous, green and fully grown – despite some initial negative media coverage. Visitors have been impressed by the design and diversity of the park. Through the theme 'Growing Green Cities', Floriade is showcasing vital solutions for making urban areas greener and healthier. Innovations that are now more important than ever. In 2050, some 68% of the global population will live in cities – just 2% of the earth's surface (source: United Nations research).
The common goal of Floriade Expo 2022 is Finding structural innovations and solutions for sustainable and liveable cities. Stakeholders from across the world have responded to the call and are currently presenting their innovative ideas and best practices from the horticultural sector and beyond.
At lot 127, next to Central Square and near the unmistakable 'Beehold' statue by Florentijn Hofman, eight companies are highlighting ways to create pleasant public spaces in busy cities. By using the right plants and materials, any space – large or small – can be transformed into a green urban oasis.
The lot design and planting plan were entrusted to landscape architect Michelle de Roo of Griffioen Wassenaar. A hill was created at the heart of the rectangular plot, with a stairway leading through sloping plant beds to a vantage point. The walkways and sightlines draw the attention to the eye catcher of the site: a cutaway in the soil reveals the substrate and roots below as well as cables, piping, a water reservoir and sewage pipes!
With this installation, the eight creative partners show that, by choosing the correct materials and plants, it is possible to overcome even the most difficult infrastructural challenges when creating green spaces. Boot & Dart Nurseries is the main initiator of this lot and provided the trees and shrubs. Frisia Group did the site layout and shoring and is handling maintenance during the event. Griffioen supplied the perennials.
A mobile seating island by Streetlife – the Mobile Green Isle (MGI) Oval – has been placed in the middle of the cutaway. Made from CorTen steel, the MGI requires no environmentally harmful treatment. The seats are fabricated using Cloud Grey beams, crafted from recycled materials: 50% plastic and 50% textile. The MGI modules are easy to move or rearrange and allow for endless configurations that can quickly turn any city square green. As Floriade is a temporary event, these mobile elements are the ultimate solution: the materials used reflect the best in sustainable innovation and the modules will be relocated when the exposition ends.
Accelerating green developments starts with mutual inspiration and sharing knowledge. Many unique pavilions in the park display circular and novel concepts as well as green innovations – a hopeful glimpse into the future.
Take the park itself, which is based on the Growing Green Cities concept. Its roads have been designed not only with Floriade in mind. This beautiful waterfront location will eventually become the new Hortus residential area. Homes are to be built on the event lots, using the most sustainable materials. All the streets will lead to the arboretum that is already growing and blooming. For more information, visit www.hortus.nl.
Floriade is open to visitors until 9 October 2022.