100 days until Floriade Expo 2022 in Amsterdam - Almere

On 4 January, it was exactly 100 days until the opening of Floriade Expo 2022 and everyone can now count down to 14 April thanks to the large countdown clock in Almere’s city centre. 2022 will be a year of spectacle, green inspiration and experiences in Almere: the Floriade year. A major art installation, in the shape of a large countdown clock, was unveiled on the Esplanade in Almere city centre during the kick-off for the Floriade year on 4 January 2022. 

On this occasion, Hilde van Garderen, the deputy mayor and councillor for Openbare Ruimte, Kunst & Cultuur en Stadsvernieuwing [public space, art & culture and urban renewal] for Gemeente Almere [municipality of Almere] and Hans Bakker, the Managing Director of Floriade Expo 2022 were interviewed by green living environment pioneer and TV presenter Lodewijk Hoekstra. How do they view the Floriade’s development, 100 days before the opening?

 “Floriade suits Almere. We are a green city with plenty of space, both literally and figuratively. Floriade’s theme, ‘Growing Green Cities’, is a contemporary one. We all know that cities around the globe are expanding. We all face the major challenge of climate change. How are we going to feed all those people responsibly? What does this entail for animals? How will we continue to co-habit on the planet in a balanced manner? People contemplating this around the world will meet at the Floriade. The Expo provides insight into what a city and individual inhabitants can do in a sustainable, circular manner whilst retaining biodiversity, because we have to take better care of our planet,” so says Hilde van Garderen. Almere and the Expo’s art and culture programme is another thing she is proud of. “It has never been as extensive as at this Floriade. Many people Almere and Flevoland are proud of will show off their achievements. I am enormously proud of my city and can’t wait to show all the exciting elements to people from the Netherlands and abroad.”

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State of affairs

Hans Bakker reflects on the state of affairs 100 days before the opening:  “The Arboretum has been completed. This enduring greenery will provide the green superstructure for the Expo and the Hortus urban district that will be built on the site afterwards. It is an alphabetical tree and plant library which visitors will be able to walk through. What makes this arboretum extra unique is that all the trees and plants contribute to a healthy, green city. Construction of the green urban district and the Expo’s structuring go hand in hand which makes this project even more interesting!”

Floriade will have a six-month run and expects to receive some 2 million visitors, of whom 72 percent from the Netherlands and 28 percent neighbouring countries. “An exceptional project both for the sector and visitors. Families in particular will be able to have an educational, fun day out: walking from country to country, enjoying the extensive art and culture programme, the ornamental gardens, circular pavilions and the experiential greenhouse. The cable car, a form of sustainable urban mobility, provides a wonderful view of the biobased bridges, the arboretum and the country pavilions. Floriade will demonstrate to visitors that the good life is living in a green city: The Green Life. Floriade will be an inspiring, green day out.”

“An important part of the Expo is the permanent substantiation of the new, green urban district. For instance, Aeres Hogeschool Almere [Almere university of applied science] is already a healthy, inspiring learning and working environment for both students and staff. The Flevoland pavilion ‘Food Forum’ will be a meeting place where, among others, producers, students and researchers will collaborate on innovations for sustainable future food production. Flores, an eyecatcher during the Expo, will fulfil a number of commercial functions and will be converted into an apartment block after the event is over.”

Countdown clock in Almere’s city centre

The clock is on the Esplanade with a view of the Weerwater and the Floriade site. The large art installation is a concept by art producer Mothership that aims to show everyone art’s value using exceptional experiences. Founder Jeroen Everaert’s mission is to make art a natural part of public spaces, to enable art to develop from and have its DNA re-anchored in the environment. From 4 January 2022 on, the Floriade clock will count down the remaining 100 days together with inhabitants and entrepreneurs, and Almere will bustle with activity. You can take part by claiming one of the 100 days at almerecentrum.nl.

Hans Bakker: “We want to count down the 100 days to Floriade’s opening on 14 April with the city of Almere. Inhabitants, associations and organisations are invited to claim their day to manually move the clock forward in an original way thereby becoming part of the 100 day countdown party. They can share their experiences, dreams, hopes, news or other stories linked to that day’s number”.