Built on land reclaimed from the sea and surrounded by Holland’s world-famous tulip fields, the city of Almere is the perfect example of the Dutch’s delicate relationship with Mother Nature — and their flair for innovative urban development. So, it’s fitting that the modern “garden city” is the setting for Floriade, a solutions-focused horticulture expo. This year’s theme, “Growing Green Cities,” is similarly apt, as the Netherlands and the rest of the world work toward an eco-friendlier future.
The seven-month affair, called “living laboratory,” has taken place once per decade for the past 70 years. Each time, participants from all corners of the globe commune to share ideas about how to make the world a better place.
This year’s expo is located on nearly 150 acres of land and divided into 192 plots connected via a hop-on-hop-off train and an aerial cable car. Among the highlights are various international pavilions, garden and horticulture displays featuring vibrant flora, nature-themed arts and cultural programs, and kids’ expeditions, as well as a massive greenhouse complex and a gigantic living tree and plant library. All of it aims to inspire visitors to cultivate healthier, more appealing, and more sustainable urban environments.
According to the expo website, Floriade 2022’s focus comprises four sub-categories: Greening the City: incorporating more greenery; Feeding the City: improving sustainable food supplies; Healthying the City: promoting more conscious living; and Energizing the City: creating smart energy solutions. Organizers and participants explore these topics by showcasing new products, technologies, and ideas.
The theme is especially pertinent given this summer’s intense heatwave and the United Nations’ projection that, by 2050, about 68% of the world’s population will live in cities.
The Dutch are uniquely poised to offer guidance on adaptation and environmentally conscious building, Positive News reports. For centuries, they’ve worked to push back the sea and establish new land with innovative solutions like human-made islands and an expansive system of dykes and pumps. And more recently, the nation has ranked among the world’s most sustainable countries, thanks to various environmental protection and green living measures.
When the 2022 expo is over in early October, the site of Floriade will become a new, green urban district. The latest iteration of Almere’s recent eco-friendly glow-up, the new area may cement the city’s place among other sustainable metropolises around the world, including nearby Amsterdam, as well as Copenhagen, Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco, New York, Zurich, and London.