How Let it Grow envisions the bright green future
It has been two years since the start of Let it Grow. A wonderful experience of growing up in public, developing a business and bringing about change. Nobody knew exactly in which direction this process would lead them, but an exciting track record for Let it Grow was built! Pjotr de Jong and Silke Tijkotte look ahead; exploring the ideas, dreams and potential that have yet to be brought to life.
I feel as if we’re only just getting started. From the beginning it was clear that Let it Grow would be a long-term strategy. Take the name for instance: Let it Grow. Give it time. There’s a whole world out there to conquer. If we wish for healthier and happier city life in the future, there is work to be done. Putting more focus on international growth is very important. Our movement began in Amsterdam, but we will branch out to other smart cities across Europe and the world.
Yes, Let it Grow is a multiplier! We want to put whole cities in bloom.
We could plant little seeds in the minds of pupils all over the world; teaching them about the value of green cities so they embrace the urban green lifestyle from an early age. In the Fuji Kindergarten in Japan, for example, children have an endless playground with trees growing right through their classrooms. And in Bali there is a Green School where they educate children to become the green ambassadors of the world. That’s exactly what we need. Because students of today are the architects, the farmers, the doctors of the future.
Fuji Kindergarten is an open-air kindergarten in Tokyo. It is designed to encourage and facilitate social interaction and discovery-style learning.
Green School is a new school concept. It follows a progressive curriculum, educating students to become green leaders in global citizenship.
But it doesn’t stop with children. We should also share our knowledge with professionals, all over the world. We need to make sure they integrate green into their practices and include it in their professional approach.
That’s right. I mean, architects and city planners should incorporate nature into the core of their urban designs. Adding a few trees and bushes to their final sketches looks nice, but there’s so much more you can do with green. Some of them are already doing that, like Winy Maas, who was in charge of the Seoul Skygarden. And Piet Oudolf, who helped transform an old railway track into New York’s vivid city park The High Line. Or, in a different area altogether, oncologist Pieter ten Berg created a better healing environment for cancer patients in the Tergooi Hospital with his Chemo Garden; urging other doctors to see the beneficial effects of being surrounded by plants and flowers for their patients.
Seoul Skygarden is an 983-metre long urban park built on a former inner city highway. It contains around 24,000 plants, trees, shrubs and flowers.
The High Line is a 2.33km public park and walkway built along a disused railway section in the Lower West Side of Manhattan.
Tergooi Chemo Garden is located at Tergooi hospital in Hilversum. It was created as a therapeutic measure for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
We could connect all these professionals with a Let it Grow research lab, devoted to gathering knowledge about plants and flowers. We should never stop encouraging new purposes for them. It would be a logical step to create innovative co-working environments around the globe where people working in green – no matter in what field – could inspire each other and share their knowledge and network.
You certainly infected me with the plant-fever. Our studio Spring House is a much greener space thanks to Let it Grow. And we feel different. Imagine what would happen if we made that lifestyle accessible to people around the globe, bringing plants and flowers right into hands and homes of consumers. We could branch out our concept stores from Amsterdam to other cities around the world, and totally reinvent the way plants and flowers are retailed.
We can be meaningful for city living on many levels. We could host our Incubation Programme in different cities, or give workshops and masterclasses. We could open restaurants dedicated to plants and flowers. Urban farming is not so different from nurturing a garden. There’s a world of opportunities there.
It should be a domino effect. You can’t grasp what we do in a single project. Let it Grow is a movement, we’re just the ones starting it.
We just need to Let it Grow.
There’s a whole world out there to conquer. If we wish for healthier and happier city life in the future, there is work to be done.