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Green is life. A conversation with Joanna Filipczak, president of the Greenery Promotion Agency

13 of May '24
w skrócie
  1. Polish landscape architecture is at a high global level, as evidenced by international achievements such as second place in the European Green Cities Competition.
  2. Trends in creating green cities include decentralizing management, increasing active biomass through more trees, and removing impervious surfaces in favor of permeable ones.
  3. As part of the International Trade Fair for Plants, Horticultural Technology and Landscape Architecture, a number of events have been planned, including the Strongly Green City Conference.
  4. The slogan of this year's edition, "Know the Power of Synergy!" reflects the need for cooperation between different industries to achieve sustainable results in shaping the urban environment.
  5. The fair provides an excellent opportunity for all professionals involved in landscape architecture to gain knowledge and inspiration.
  6. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal

The next edition of the International Trade Fair of Plants, Horticultural Technology and Landscape Architecture, Green is Life, will take place in autumn. In addition to the exhibition part, the event is filled with substantive lectures, meetings, trainings and workshops. We talk about the challenges of urban greenery, the latest trends in shaping green cities and the program of this year's fair with Joanna Filipczak, president of the Greenery Promotion Agency, organizer of the event.

targi Zieleń to życie

Green is Life fair

© organizers archive

Ola Kloc: What were the biggest challenges related to greenery in the city the starting point for creating this year's conference program?

Joanna Filipczak: This year will be the 25th edition of the conference on urban greenery that we organize, and each time, the basis for creating its program is to learn about the current problems faced by those responsible for and creating public greenery. For several years now, the challenge of climate change has not waned. Poland is experiencing an unprecedented increase in droughts and floods. Poland's average temperature has risen by 2°C in just 50 years, from 1950 to 2020, surpassing the global average. Violent thunderstorms and storms, in turn, are a flood risk both locally and related to the topography of the country, much of which is located in the catchment areas of two major rivers.

Climate change is a fact of life, regardless of its source, as not all scientists trace the cause to human activity. Professor Steven Koonin or Professor of Earth Sciences Leszek Marx say that in the history of our globe there have been natural periods of cooling and warming, which is where we are now. The question is what we can do about it - two strategies related to climate change are emerging - mitigation and adaptation. Both involve working with nature, especially in cities, and this is a fundamental approach. And here comes another challenge - how to convince city mayors that investment in greenery is so important, as is maintaining existing green spaces or creating urban ecosystems. For the past three years we have been inviting all mayors in Poland to participate in the conference, and we have seen a growing turnout of this group of participants, so there is hope for change... And by the way, experienced landscape architect Miroslaw Sztuka spoke at last year's meeting about building urban ecosystems , sharing his experience in this field. You can still benefit from this knowledge, which was recorded and posted on YouTube:

Those professionally involved in urban greening are sure to be interested in all the presentations, including a new approach to preparing the ground for naturalistic urban beds presented by Noel Kingsbury. And reaching even further back in history, but what a timely knowledge of climate change adaptation and mitigation , I also invite you to a recording of a speech by world-renowned landscape architect and scientist Martha Schwartz, hosted by 2022. And please don't be discouraged by the first part of the speech, which depicts the effects of warming in catastrophic visions, as she goes on to also give methods of action that can be implemented in both small and large cities:

Ola Kloc: What European or global trends in creating green cities do you think we should try in Poland?

Joanna Filipczak: Before I move on to trends, I want to share my belief that Polish landscape architecture is at a high global level and is recognized abroad. For example, our recent speakers - Agnieszka Hubeny-Zhukowska wins laurels in international landscape architecture competitions, and Miroslaw Sztuka has created and implemented projects in the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Dubai, Egypt, China. Let the recognition of Polish realizations also be proved by achieving second place in the European Green Cities Competition in 2022, in which 13 European projects competed, and our representative was Czyżyny Park from Krakow. And here let me digress that we will soon announce the call for entries for the new edition of the competition, hoping for at least a similar turnout as before - in the last two years the Polish representative was selected from 14 realizations.

On the other hand, a trend that should certainly come to us is new thinking about cities - the creation of ecosystems, but also decentralization in the sense of management. The division into neighborhoods and the creation of a 15,20-minute city, which began to be introduced in 2010 in Portland, USA, and since 2016 was also taken up by Detroit, then Barcelona and Paris. The idea is to create a "car-free" city, strengthen local communities and manage their immediate surroundings more easily.

An important topic, which the Germans have largely dealt with, is the removal of impervious surfaces and replacing them with permeable ones, through which rainwater drains into aquifers. Of course, de-paving is being introduced in our country as well, but it can certainly be done on a larger scale and using new techniques and technologies.

Another important European trend is to increase active biomass in cities by using more and more trees. Of course, cities have infrastructural constraints on large root systems, but it can be observed that even where this is possible, varieties with a small crown, sometimes round, are often used, because the introduction of geometry gives the impression of orderliness. And after all, that's the point - simply to have as much greenery in the city as possible.

Also worthy of imitation are Chinese realizations such as the sponge city - Nantong, in which an important role is played by the nature-based system of circulation and use of rainwater, which allows, among other things, the planting of more trees.

hala targowa

exhibition hall

© organizers archive

Ola Kloc: The slogan of this year's edition is "Meet the Power of Synergy!". What events await the participants?

Joanna Filipczak: A new approach to creating an urban environment is also to strengthen cooperation between architects, landscape architects, planners, scientists. Only then are we able to achieve the synergy effect mentioned in the slogan of the fair and its accompanying events.

During the Strongly Green City conference, we will learn about examples of this in, among other things, a lecture by Dr. Stephan Treuke, who is responsible for the implementation of the redevelopment of the Emscher River referring to the aforementioned sponge city. In addition to its positive impact on the local climate, this sustainable design concept improves living conditions, especially when it comes to the residential sector.

The topic of sustainable green design will also be covered by Wojciech Januszczyk, and this concept for residential neighborhoods will be presented by Monika Trojanowska, PhD. There will also be a plant theme, with trees playing a major role.

Following this theme, during Saturday's Garden Creators Meeting we will learn, among other things, from Dr. Izabela Myszka more about the structural layer of the garden and the framework for building compositions, or how to achieve a wow effect in the garden, which will be presented by Hubert Lamanski, as well as how to inscribe the garden in the surroundings, which will be shared with the participants by Michal Józefczak. Thanks to Andrzej Kujawa - president of the Polish Nurserymen's Association - we will also learn about pioneer plants that survive in difficult environmental conditions.

A new and interesting highlight for practitioners will also be a workshop conducted outdoors, which will demonstrate the technical aspects of combining garden paving, landscaping and greenery.

she asked: Ola Kloc

tegoroczna odsłona targów potrwa od 5 do 7 września

  • venue: EXPO XXI WARSAW, 12/14 Prądzyńskiego St.
  • free invitations for professionals: after logging on to
  • organizers: Polish Nurserymen Association, Greenery Promotion Agency
  • topics: plants, technology and techniques for horticulture, nursery, garden and landscaping, sales support in the industry, garden and landscaping equipment, architecture
  • competitions for exhibitors: Competition of Plant Novelties - the most interesting plant novelties on the Polish market; Competition for the most attractive stands "Wawrzyny".
  • accompanying events:
    • Knowledge for trade and producers seminar aimed at nurserymen and gardeners, owners and employees of garden centers and buyers from DIY chains;
    • the conference Strongly Green City - Meet the Power of Synergy prepared for local government officials, local authorities, investors, landscape architects and contractors;
    • GardenMakers Meeting - practical knowledge and expert advice in the form of demonstrations and presentations for landscape architects, garden contractors and enthusiasts;
    • Gardenphilia design workshop - for anyone who wants to start designing gardens in the Gardephilia Designer program;
    • training of the Federation of Polish Arborists - practical knowledge about the role of large trees and the problems associated with their protection and care;
    • industry training in terrace laying.

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