“I am deeply honoured to be asked to write the preface for the second edition of the 2022 IFLA Europe Exhibition “Reconsidering nature”, which collects large and small scale realized Landscape Architecture projects, being in harmony with nature and using nature-based solutions. The concept of nature has been changing throughout the centuries, from the macrocosm nature and the microcosm man to the nature of a machine, the dominance of nature by man, and then to the embracement of nature and introduction of nature-based solutions in our cities. In the 21st century, Landscape Architecture is at the forefront of connecting people and nature, dealing with interactions between natural and cultural ecosystems, such as adaptation and mitigation related to climate challenges, socio-economic improvements, community health and welfare. The European projects featured in this publication demonstrate nature-based solutions from local to regional scale, their importance with the cultural context and effectiveness by making our living spaces and lifestyles beautiful, sustain-able and inclusive. The importance to develop and publish overall green concepts for cities is emphasized as well as the crucial role of Landscape Architects to deliver climate solutions at all scales. The nature — culture approach is highlighted, the linkage between the ecological and social values and functions of land and other natural resources, and the connections between production and consumption, in ways that promote low carbon, healthy lifestyles in harmony with nature. I would like to thank the creators of these projects, the National Associations, the working group and especially Urszula Forczek-Brataniec, our former Secretary General who moderated the whole process and devoted time for preparation”.
Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA EUROPE President
“The world around us is changing rapidly. During the recent weather anomalies and prolonged pandemic restrictions we could see for ourselves the role nature plays both in close and further human neighbourhood as well as its crucial impact on the broadly understood environmental balance, microclimate of our homes and human psyche. It brings about new challenges for space creation. Landscape architecture as a field stretched between utility, aesthetics, and the environmental rights currently seems to be the most appropriate way of approaching design. Reconsidering nature is related to rethinking the role of nature in human surroundings. This is a novel approach to its functional benefits, redefining the concepts and reexamination of aesthetic categorisations. It demonstrates in the need to return to using natural processes in design. This means under-standing the role of fallow land, undeveloped land, or even changing the traditional connotation of these notions. Reconsidering nature is also connected with a novel approach to aesthetics. Artificially created aesthetic compositions in the traditional sense lose their meaning in favour of spontaneous, rich and diverse ecosystems created by nature of its original beauty. It is with great pleasure and pride that we present the works of landscape architects in the form of the second exhibition of IFLA Europe. The exhibition comprises representative implementations in the field of landscape architecture that were selected by national associations. This collection provides a kind of overview of how reconsidering nature is understood across Europe. It will be a travelling exhibition packed into files and like seeds sent into the world. We hope that they will spread widely and develop on the ground of initiatives of local associations while presenting the contemporary role of landscape architects in building our common living environment.”
Urszula Forczek-Brataniec, Exhibition Working Group Chair
“This exhibition shows many high-level landscape architecture projects.They are often the result of competitions. And the selection of the representative works on the national level again was made in competitions for finished projects. This demonstrates that competitions are a good way to produce excellence provided the brief is prepared carefully and the jury members are chosen with attention to their competence for the specific task. Few professions submit to such a labour-intensive procedure to secure commissions. The winner takes it all, the others have only gained experience (and a bit of prize money in the case of next placed projects). But in this way it is ascertained that the best solution for a given task is found and realized. A good solution for a project has to consider many aspects. But foremost are the same principles as in the New European Bauhaus: beauty, inclusion and sustainability. With other words they have to cover social, ecological and aesthetic values, they have to consider the spirit of the place and provide a unique, site-specific solution so as to further identification with one’s surroundings. And they have to reconnect to nature, to make our environment more resilient to the coming challenges and, at best, fight against climate change. To arrive at such a project we have also to reconsider nature: what aspects of nature help most to meet the present challenges and how can nature-base solutions be implemented without neglecting other aims. Therefore a lot of re-consideration is to be done. We hope the projects presented help to do so successfully.
Almut Jirku, bdla Germany on behalf of Exhibition Working Group:Anna Levonmaa, MARK Finland Eva Jenikova, CAKA Czech Republic