Georgofili World

Newsletter of the Georgofili Academy

Biodiversity and diversity of forms: the new geometry of urban green

On the 8th of May during the Flora Firenze exposition, the Conference on Floriculture, Nursery and Green Planning organized of the Floriculture and Nursery Committee of the Georgofili Academy

The conference was held during the Flora Firenze in the beautiful frame of the Parco delle Cascine. Excellent speakers illustrated different topics related to Floriculture, Nursery and green areas planning. The aim of the Conference, widely reached considering the attenders, was to highlight the importance of the ornamental plants in the green urban areas for the welfare of the citizens. The speeches of the Conference provided an overview of the economic importance of the floriculture and ornamental plants and in particular the role of Italy (The Italian Floriculture: The Great Beauty? S. De Pascale, A. Croci e G. Serra). The recognized high quality of the Italian ornamental plants allowed the conquest of new markets. Many of these plants are used for the urban planning in different countries and in particular those of the Est Europe, where the export has been increasing. Unfortunately, this quality and the use of Italian plants abroad is not demonstrable since there are not identification tools regarding the origin of the products (Urban Green: more than just a color. F. Ferrini, F. Mati). The ornamental species used in the urban environment are many, but there are many others that can be used to counteract the biotic and abiotic stresses. The wide availability of flowers and foliage colours allows the planning and creation of beautiful artworks in open space (Biodiversity and Mediterranean plants: new opportunities and new challenges. D. Romano, F. Bretzel, E. Margheriti). In town, the plants have to live in contact with buildings, therefore, the combination of different expertise such as the meeting of agronomist and architects joined together can lead to unique projects. The woods in town realized in Milano is an example (Vertical woods. L. Gatti). The plants are alive and are continuously growing and change with seasons, such as the new dynamic architecture. This new type of architecture allow having buildings which change shape and exposition such as days, months and seasons change (Dynamic architecture. D. Fisher). The interaction between plants and buildings in movement provides more complex and interesting the projects that can be realized in highly populated urban areas.
Even if the future is based on the experimentation and the development of new ideas and shapes, the past cannot be forgotten or ignored, on the contrary the study of ancient works that nowadays cannot be seen anymore (old water channels, old walls, etc.) allow the recreation of the vegetation in desert places (P. Laureano). The regreening of some desert areas has been possible through the study and reconstruction of old water channels and using local plant species can tolerate drought, high temperatures and salinity. 
The conference provided several interesting tips for discussion on the importance of the correct combination of building and ornamental plants in town, for the welfare of the citizens.

Antonio Ferrante –