Sat, Nov 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Flora expo opens in Taichung today

EARLY COMPLIMENT:Designers from four continents have created plots for the World Garden Competition at a venue in the city’s Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Park

By Chang Hsuan-che  /  Staff reporter

Mayor of Almere, Netherlands, Franc Weerwind, third left, Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung, fourth left, International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) President Bernard Oosterom, center, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, fourth right, AIPH Secretary General Tim Briercliffe, second right, and other guests yesterday hold plants at the opening ceremony of the World Garden Area of the Taichung World Flora Exposition at the Houli Forest Expo Site.

Photo: CNA

Taichung is today to host 60 groups from 31 countries for the opening of the Taichung World Flora Exposition, which features exotic gardens, aquaponics installations and sustainable buildings that echo its theme: “Rediscover Green, Nature and People.”

The show, which is to run until April 24 next year, is spread over three sites in Taichung — Waipu Park, Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Park, and Fengyuan Huludun Park.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) president Bernard Oosterom yesterday guided guests around on a preview of a demonstration garden designed by the association and the Council of Agriculture.

Oosterom said he had frequently visited the construction site at Houli park, which used to be a densely forested area that included routes for tanks, but now hosts a spectacular garden.

Designed by landscape architect Nilufer Danis’ team, the garden has a herb garden, aquaponics systems, an insect hotel and “green” buildings that highlight the coexistence of humans and vegetation, Oosterom said.

The city government invited the AIPH to curate the garden because it is the world’s most professional and prestigious organization of horticulture practitioners, Lin said, adding that the garden demonstrates a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature.

One of the expo’s highlights is the World Garden Competition at the park, with gardens designed by European, American, Asian and African teams, the Taichung Education Bureau said, adding that the results would be announced at the exposition’s closing ceremony.

Contestants were required to create gardens that integrate local culture and plants, and address the themes of sustainability, a “green” island and rustic village regeneration, the bureau said.

The European section mainly conveys the ideas of ecological protection and environmental friendliness, as shown by the Netherlands’ exhibition hall — the first building in Taiwan constructed entirely of recyclable materials, it said.

Meanwhile, a sustainable house called The Wheel at the expo won a silver prize at this year’s London Design Awards on Thursday, the Taichung Construction Bureau said.

Built with recyclable materials including rice shafts, wood, clay and sand, the structure demonstrates how a family of four might sustain their life with minimum exploitation of natural resources, it said.

The prize marks a breakthrough for Taiwanese architecture, bureau Director-General Huang Yu-lin (黃玉霖) said.

Additional reporting by Huang Chung-shan

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