Last month, Henk Raaijmakers, board member of the iVerde foundation, visited the Chinese cities of Nanjing and Shanghai. He was there at the invitation of several large Chinese organizations engaged in landscaping and green urban renewal. Raaijmakers has presented the Dutch approach within the scope of the Green City philosophy.
The presentation in Nanjing was attended by 250 city planners, architects, designers and other green professionals. The subjects were citizen participation in the public environment, social cohesion, air pollution, heat stress, water buffering and biodiversity. Raaijmakers also spoke with some of the largest landscaping firms Nanjing on the themes of green roofs and green walls, which are very trendy topics at the moment in China. Furthermore, attractions like the ‘Van Gogh village, which included a park with beautifully blooming flower bulbs, were visited.
After Nanjing, Raaijmakers visited China’s largest city, Shanghai, to give a presentation to the Shanghai Urban Construction School and the Society of Shanghai Landscape Architecture.
A very inspiring visit was made to a gardening center, which was located on the eighth floor of a 10,000 m2 building, filled with show gardens. These gardens are meant to inspire Chinese people to use more greenery in and around their homes.
When visiting an arboretum with the beautiful ‘Flower Expo 2015, the high quality and the fact that everything seemed to have been worked out to perfection, really stood out.
According to Raaijmakers, this visit can be seen as a next step forward in Chinese-Dutch relations within the ‘field of green’. The Dutch knowledge and approach to the use of green in tackling problems such as air pollution and heat stress, could be also very valuable in China. As a result of this visit, a number of articles on the Green City philosophy will appear in a few Chinese ‘green’ journals.