The “Green Cities for a Sustainable Europe” campaign is an initiative of the European Nurserystock Association (ENA), the umbrella organisation of tree and plant growers from different European countries. The theme of the campaign is the positive influence of green on biodiversity, climate, well-being and air quality in cities. The seven participating countries are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, France, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Tanks to the financial support of CHAFEA (European Commission) and the contribution of the national nurseries’ organisations, the campaign is developing very well in these countries. For this reason, ENA is preparing an extension of the project beyond 2020, with new countries joining the campaign.
The “trek to the big city” is a global trend. Due to the sum of increasingly larger cities and climate change, we must look for solutions to increase the quality of life in cities. Public green can make a significant contribution to this. Green has a demonstrably positive effect on air quality, biodiversity, the reduction of heat stress, water retention and the well-being of people. Against this background, the European Union (EU) supports the campaign with which the ‘Green Cities for a Sustainable Europe’ platform brings new insights, practical examples and research into the greening of public spaces to the attention of administrators, politicians and policymakers.
The campaign in the Netherlands
An important means of communication is the website www.thegreencity.eu. The participating countries share their knowledge and experience there, sharing successful developments and practical examples. But in addition to the website, special initiatives are being taken. For example, during the Public Space Trade Fair, a dinner pension was organised. Professionals and policymakers exchanged ideas and experiences in a relaxed atmosphere. A practical afternoon on hallmarks for healthy buildings is an important part of the “Sustainable buildings” congress.
Activities of other participating countries
Germany organised a three-day Stadt.Plant.Grün congress in Berlin last October. In it, new developments in the field of greening were presented to and discussed with decision-makers in the field of public green areas. France has this week been emphatically present with a program at Paysalia in Lyon. And in England Green City Seminars take place throughout the country.
The above is just a selection from the many initiatives in the seven participating countries. On the website www.thegreencity.eu you will find a complete overview of activities in the “Green Cities for a Sustainable Europe” campaign, arranged by country. Themes that are discussed are “nature-inclusive construction”, the “nitrogen problem and green” and “green and health”.
ENA contributes to a new Green Cities project
ENA held a meeting in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, in November 2019. In this meeting, ENA agreed on submitting to CHAFEA a new proposal to promote greener cities in the period 2021-2023. The ENA President, Mr. Jan-Dieter Bruns, invited Mr. David McAllister, MEP from the region, to an exchange of opinions with the nurseries. The MEP encouraged the nursery stock sector to work for a stronger and more united Europe and expressed his faith in the European Green Deal proposed by the new European Commission.
“ENA wants to contribute, with a new Green Cities project, to the EU aim to fight the climate change. We are grateful to the EU for their help to convey the passion, and mainly the need, for plants to the European cities”, said Mr. Jan-Dieter Bruns, ENA President.
Growth in the number of participants
The ENA initiative has also inspired other EU member states. The ENA is currently working on setting up a follow-up to the current campaign. The project plan and a request for financial support based on it will be submitted to the EU in early 2020. The number of participating European countries in this campaign is expected to grow by 50% for the period 2021-2023. Europe is becoming greener and more sustainable!
You can follow ours and the activities of our colleagues in Europe on www.thegreencity.eu