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"Plants and flowers are sure to play a crucial role in urban environments."

The true power of flowers & green

Author: Harm Custers – Manager Marketing & Sales Flowers at Takii Europe

The last couple of months I had the privilege to listen and talk to some very inspiring keynote speakers, who moved me very much with their stories. In fact, they convinced me of something I knew already from deep inside; the reason why I (and many of us) are so passionate about flowers and plants. They play a vital role in human lives! It is not only a feeling, but has become a scientifically proven fact. This is the true power of flowers…and what a potential!

Isabelle Boucq gave me insight into ‘horticultural therapy’. Based on various theories, they use gardening as activity to achieve specific goals within a treatment or rehabilitation. Being in and doing the garden leads to health improvement of many people! The benefits are social, physical, psychological and cognitive.

Dr. Jolanda Maas, from the VU University Amsterdam, conducted over 10 years of research on health benefits of nature. Her conclusion is that ’green’ gives much more economic benefits then the costs related to those green investments. She turned her research into Project Vitamine G and is dedicated to promoting green cities as healing environments. Jolanda also participates in the Phenotype Project, an initiative connecting European organizations in this field.

Another inspiring speaker I have met recently was Dr. James Bellini, a leading futurologist that shared his vision on the future of cities. By the year 2050, 70% of the global population will be living in urbanized areas (today 50%). At the same time the population will grow from currently 7,5 billion to an estimate of 11 billion in 2050. This means that in the coming 30 years the population in urban areas will double! Those cities need to be livable, big transformations are already taking place in this field. And on top of this, the well-being culture is developing. Have you ever heard of ‘Biophilic Cities’? I recommend you to Google it, you will be amazed! Biophilia focuses on humans’ innate attraction to nature and natural processes. It suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings. It is a human centered approach that, when applied, improves many of the spaces that we live and work in today, with numerous benefits for our health and well-being.

Wow! A wealth of opportunities for our sector. Plants and flowers are sure to play a crucial role in urban environments. Let’s all bring this message across! Many initiatives  are already taking place, and are being supported by Takii. Like ‘Let It Grow’, a platform that explores the value of plants and flowers to encourage happier and healthier city living. Another example is the city of Vienna, who decided to invest strongly in public gardening (using our Canna Cannova as eye catcher). Moreover I see it as my personal mission to address this message internally in our company, to all departments from breeding to production to seed supply to sales and all supportive staff. We should be able to translate the specific needs of urban citizens and city designers into innovative products, concepts and business models. The biophilic trend in fact perfectly matches with our companies’ purpose: to enrich people’s lives with healthy food and beautiful flowers.

We are dedicated to creating usable solutions for tomorrow. Are you ready for this future?


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