On Thursday, September 29th of this year, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Hungary exchanged information about and experiences with their Green City projects. The event took place in the wake of the presidium meeting of the European Landscape Contractors Association in Budapest.
In order to support the initiative of Green City Hungary ‘The Budapest Charta’ was signed by all organizations and associations present. President Rien van der Spek and director Egbert Roozen, representing the Dutch Landscaping and Gardening Contractors Association, also signed the Charta.
The Budapest Charta is inspired by similar projects such as the Charta’s of Strasburg, Milan and Zurich. They all aim to improve the quality of the environment and hence the well-being of the people in cities by introducing sustainable design and developing green spaces in cities. It will create an environment in which economic, ecological and social goals can be achieved. The Charta states, amongst other things, that every city should strive for more green in the city as a solution for air pollution, retention of water and prevention of heat stress. This requires a new, ‘green’ way of thinking and a change of policy. Politicians, policymakers and professionals are obvious target audiences of The Green City message, but let’s not forget the citizens themselves!
The activities of The Green City differ from country to country. Specific circumstances and demands determine the playing field. The exchange of views, practices, experiences and publications – such as in Budapest – are an effective way to support Green City organizations to enhance their knowledge and network in an efficient manner. In his speech, Egbert Roozen expressed the need for initiatives such as The Living Garden. This concept is widely used in contacts with Dutch authorities and is easy to translate into sustainable applications in both the garden and in public spaces. The Living Garden concept was very well received by the organizations and associations present. Egbert Roozen agreed to make his Living Garden presentation available to all present.