2019 Contemporary

Landscape Planting Forum

Background



We live in a century of much rhetoric about being sustainable, seeking to be close to nature, and ecological in the design of the cities we live in. In reality however our cities often fall short of these lofty ideals. Often this is because many designers do not have sufficient detailed knowledge or interest in vegetation to be able to achieve the desired ecological, functional and aesthetic goals.  This deficiency is world-wide but particularly marked in China both within landscape architecture and horticulture. A reluctance to adopt latinised botanic names in these industries inhibits access to the worlds latest research and scholarship on plants and planting in urban landscapes, most of which is occurring outside of China and is accessed through using botanical names.  These industries have been slow to respond to the contemporary needs in plant use in urban areas, such as selecting plants able to grow satisfactorily without irrigation, or selecting plants for challenging non-conventional sites such as rain gardens.  It is particularly difficult to use local native plants in China to reinforce landscape character, as relatively few of these species are commercially available within the nursery industry.


We need to better integrate our skills and knowledge about plants, and develop a much more dynamic and conventionality-questioning design and management culture in China, in which plant using and planting are based on scientific evidences.  Plants are central to the achievement of more sustainable C21st cities, and this goal cannot be achieved without a more plant oriented culture amongst the public, government and key disciplines working in the urban landscape.


To kick start discussions that will ultimately move us in the right direction we have assembled a stellar list of speakers, all acknowledged masters within their areas of planting design who have changed attitudes to urban planting through their deep understanding of and passion for plants and planting design.  Rarely has a conference brought together such distinguished designers on a conference platform.