Research Symposium to present latest findings on the impact of urban greening on city health

Prominent researchers from around the globe will present their findings on the health benefits of urban greening at the ‘Living Green, Liveable Cities’ Research Symposium on 4-5 February 2024 at Expo 2023 Doha, Qatar.

Organised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in collaboration with Cities & Health and Expo 2023 Doha Qatar, the symposium presents research under three themes which demonstrate the contribution of ‘living green’ to healthy and resilient cities: Social and Cultural Health, Health and Wellbeing, and Environmental Health.

The Symposium comprises four sessions focusing on these key themes. Each session will include a talk by a keynote speaker as well as presentations of research findings from other key persons studying the subjects. Keynote speakers include: Dr Bruno Marques, President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA); Judith van der Poel, Director of Niek Roozen Landscape; and Dr Gayle Souter-Brown, Special Envoy from IFLA to the International Society of Urban Health.

In the  Living Green for ‘Social and Cultural Health’ session, Dr Bruno Marques will explore the relationship between culture, environment, and the construction of therapeutic environments. He will draw on research linking social and cultural determinants of health with different views of health and well-being. Crucially, Bruno will present compelling evidence that incorporating non-Western perspectives can address health inequalities and offer valuable insights into the design of therapeutic environments.

Judith van der Poel will lead the Living Green for ‘Environmental Health’ session, presenting her work with universities and municipalities to combine knowledge of the effects of green solutions for typical areas in cities. Together, they have investigated which types of locations have the largest impact on city health.

Starting the Living Green for ‘Health and Wellbeing’ session, Dr Gayle Souter-Brown will speak about research surrounding how urban greening can be utilised to impact the health of ‘apparently well’ people. While there is a wealth of evidence that greenery can improve health in sick or disabled people, how plants impact those who are ‘apparently well’ is a newly emerging area of study.

Other speakers include:

  • Aura Istrate, Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Dublin
  • Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, Wellbeing Fellow at the Royal Horticultural Society and Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Sheffield
  • Dr Irfan Khan, Architect at the Central Public Works Department, Government of India
  • Dr Christine Mullan-Jensen, Environmental psychologist and qualitative researcher based in Ireland
  • Dr Marcello Vitale, Associate Professor,  Sapienza University of Rome, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences

Dr Audrey Timm, Technical Initiatives Manager, AIPH, says: “A core feature of this symposium is the link between science and practice, which has immense relevance for the future of cities, even outside the subject field of ornamental horticulture. AIPH is delighted with the diversity and quality of research that is presented in this programme.”

In addition to the research sessions, the Symposium includes a VIP tour of Expo 2023 Doha Qatar and tours of key locations within the Doha Municipality relating to the Symposium themes.

The Research Symposium accompanies the special Cities & Health journal issue, also titled ‘Living Green, Liveable Cities’. This special issue was instigated by AIPH and Expo 2023 Doha Qatar to investigate the science and practice supporting the concept showcased the Expo of creating liveable and healthy urban environments through city greening.

Tickets for the two-day Research Symposium are £100. For more information and to book your place, please visit the AIPH Website.