The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Welcome to the 12th International People Plant Symposium

Sponsored by the ISHS Commissions on Landscape & Urban Horticulture and Education, Research Training & Consultancy

It is with great pleasure, that we invite you to attend the 12th International People Plant Symposium (IPPS) in Brisbane, Australia as part of the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014). IHC2014 will include many symposia and workshops on all aspects of horticulture and horticultural science, including that of production horticulture and environmental/amenity horticulture. In addition to the International People Plant Symposium, we believe there are many other symposia and workshops that will be of interest to IPPS registrants. We encourage you to plan to arrive on Sunday 17 August to fully experience all that IHC2014 has to offer.

The IPPS has as its theme "Horticulture and Human Communities: People, Plants and Place." Green space is often considered as nature's remedy for mental illness, active social inclusion and health and wellbeing. Symposium topics covered will range from innovative approaches that explore and promote the connections between nature, plants, landscapes and health, and how nature-based activities can range from the rehabilitation of patients to working with human communities in natural environments, particularly those communities working in the transitional economies, to forward thinking papers on the future relationships and interactions between nature and human communities.

Academics, scientists, researchers, consultants, government officers, graduate students and industry leaders and practitioners are invited to participate in the sharing of research-based information within the field of Horticulture and Human Communities: People, Plants and Place.

As this symposium seeks to address the fundamental importance of nature and its inherent link to every aspect of our lives, we invite presentations which address the benefits, risks, challenges, opportunities and solutions on:

  • Nature and horticultural therapy/history/design for people, plants and places
  • Health promotion and wellness/behavioral trends/benefits/management/ for people, plants and places
  • Co-production of services and private public goods in the interaction among local communities, producers and consumers in the sphere of a moral/ethically based economy
  • Maintenance/therapeutic approaches/practices working with nature and horticultural therapy
  • Research/teaching/extension approaches/practices working with nature and horticultural therapy, as well as inclusive horticulture

We will also welcome papers that discuss recent advances more generally in any of the following topics such as, historical perspectives and personalities associated with the teaching, research and extension of programs dealing with nature and horticulture, human issues in horticulture and horticultural therapy, models in the progressive delivery of programs and activities associated with nature and horticultural therapy/inclusion, models for collaboration between institutions and industry on social farming for health, nature, and horticultural therapy, natural environments and health benefits, social inclusion, education and training in nature, and coaching in nature.

Abstract submission, program development, and symposium registration will all be done through the IHC2014 website.


Dr. Candice Shoemaker is Professor of Horticulture and Human Health in the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources at Kansas State University, USA. She is also executive chair of the People Plant Council, an international council that promotes research and communication on the effect that plants have on human well-being and improved life-quality. Dr. Shoemaker has served as convener or co-convener of several past International People Plant Symposium.

Dr. Erja Rappe is a Managing Editor of a multidisciplinary journal “Agricultural and Food Science” and is based in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr Rappe is also a university lecturer and researcher specialized in the health and well-being effects of horticulture and the green environment.

Prof Francesco Di Iacovo is Professor of Agricultural Economics, Dept. of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. He has been researching on the topic of social farming and social development in rural areas since 1999. He co-ordinated the SoFar project under the umbrella of the VI EU Research Framework ( and was national delegate member of the COST Action 866 on green care. He is a member of the Farming for Health Community of Practices. Francesco Di Iacovo has served as convener or co-convener of several past Symposium and Working groups on the topic.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Ki-Cheol Son will present a keynote presentation entitled “A few attempts for specialization and standardization of horticultural therapy.” Prior to receiving his PhD at the University of Georgia, Dr Ki-Cheol Son obtained his BA and Masters in horticulture at Konkuk University. In 1997, he established the first 'Horticultural Therapy Research Group' in Korea, after which, in 1999, he set up 'Horticultural Therapist Courses' at the Continuing Education Center, Konkuk University. After founding the Korea Horticultural Therapy Association (KHTA) in 2001, he served as its president for the subsequent 8 years. He made pivotal contributions in laying down the groundwork for research and training system in horticultural therapy, clinical training and issuance of horticultural therapist certificates in Korea. His book 'Professional horticultural therapy' is widely used the main textbook in Korea. Previously, he has served as the Vice President of Life Science, Dean of the Graduate School of Agriculture & Animal Science, and the Dean of the College of Life Science & Environment at Konkuk University. Currently, he is a professor of Dept. of Environmental Health Science.

Scientific Committee

  • Renata Schneiter (Switzerland)
  • Grete Patil (Norway)
  • Diane Relf (USA)
  • Paul de la Motte (Australia)
  • Theresa Scott (Australia)
  • Sin-Ae Park (South Korea)
  • Virginia I. Lohr (USA)
  • Anna Maria Palsdottir (Sweden)
  • Monika Latkowska (Poland)
  • Seigo Koura (Japan)
  • Steven Wells (Australia)