General Assembly 2021

32nd IFLA Europe General Assembly 22-24 October 2021, Granada, SPAIN!

Delegates, Presidents and members of the National Associations from 24 IFLA Europe member countries participated in the General Assembly which took place online and in person on 22-24 October 2021 in Granada, Spain!

We had Executive Council Elections with new Executive Council members elected for a two-year mandate 2021-2023:

Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President – first 2-year term 2021-2023.
Didier Vancutsem , IFLA Europe Vice President for Professional Practice – first 2-year term 2021-2023.
Darija Perkovic-Bosnjak, IFLA Europe Vice President for Communications, Margarida Cancela d’Abreu , IFLA Europe Vice President for Education and Hermann Georg Gunnlaugsson, IFLA Europe Treasurer, remained elected members for their second 2-year term 2021-2023.

Diana Culescu, IFLA Europe Secretary General, remains in her first 2-year term 2020-2022.

Congratulations to the elected members of the Executive Council!

We had constructive discussion on IFLA Europe activities, its mission and vision aligned with the objectives of EU Green Deal and UN Sustainable Development Goals and the important role that Landscape Architects have in combating climate change impact. We considered the changes to IFLA Europe Statutes and Regulations which will enable IFLA Europe have a more prominent role and raise awareness about the profession.

Communication strategy and products were discussed in order to raise awareness about IFLA Europe, the profession of landscape architects and important role they play in the society. Pecha Kucha – presentations on realised projects from our National Associations on the current General Assembly topic were presented! IFLA Europe Yearbook format was discussed as well as larger involvement of our members in IFLA Europe activities! We will continue our support to Landscape Architecture Europe – LAE foundation whose objective is to enhance dialogue in landscape architecture on European level by publishing a triennial yearbook containing projects, essays, interviews and portraits which explore how landscape architects in Europe work and design.

Universities and Schools of Landscape Architecture were encouraged to apply for IFLA Europe recognition of landscape architecture programmes. We will continue strong cooperation with ECLAS – European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools and work together towards developing joint recognition document regarding Landscape Architecture teaching and research. Together we will work on development of Common Training Framework also through InnoLAND project. We will continue participating and supporting LE:NOTRE –focal point for landscape specialists of all disciplines where we will focus on further developing international and interdisciplinary approach, and to act as a common platform for those involved in teaching, research and practice in the landscape field. We will continue our support to ELASA - European Landscape Architecture Students Association in order to promote cooperation, exchange and mobility of the students. We will reinforce relations with UNISCAPE - European Network of Universities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, to support and reinforce scientific interdisciplinary co-operation among European universities regarding landscape issues. We will continue supporting NELA - Network of European Landscape Architecture Archives
aimed to raise awareness of the invaluable records relating to the history of the built environment through an international collaboration between archives, researchers and educators.

Professional Recognition Assistance Survey Report was published, aimed at collecting data about the state of the Landscape Architect’s profession in IFLA Europe member countries, was presented at the General Assembly. The state of the profession was examined in terms of the state of regulation of the profession and the scope of its performance, the current condition of the profession and the problems of mobility within the profession in other countries.

We will continue important cooperation with the Council of Europe in landscape architecture matters as IFLA Europe is a consultant NGO in its different working groups via the Conference of the European Landscape Convention and Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) and in projects dealing with professional recognition and the role of landscape architects in heritage projects. We will continue promoting 20 October – International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe. National Associations were encouraged to organise own events to mark this important date.

Our Med_net Working Group presented its work and theme for 2022: TREES and announced the next Med_net spring meetings and conference in Marseille, France, hosted by FFP France! Agricultural Landscapes Working Group presented its activities and announced Call for Images for Agricultural Landscapes which will be carried out in 2022! Climate Change Working Group presented IFLA Europe’s Position Paper on the role of Landscape Architects in Circular Economy!

In March 2021 IFLA Europe was selected as official partner of the New European Bauhaus and we will continue our active involvement in the next step: Delivery phase - From September 2021 onward. This phase will be led by 4 important thematic axes: 1. Reconnecting with nature 2. Regaining a sense of belonging 3. Prioritising the places and people that need it most 4. Fostering long term, life cycle thinking in the industrial ecosystem.

We will continue establishing contacts with various European Commission stakeholders such as DG Environment, DG Climate Action, DG GROW Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in order to raise the profile of the profession and underline important role of Landscape Architects in fighting climate change impact.

We proclaimed IFLA Europe Student and Young Professionals competition 2021 winners! IFLA Europe received 22 entries from across Europe for Category A: Conceptual Ideas and Projects. The Jury has evaluated all entries based on four main criteria: - Presentation and graphical quality - Pertinence of the entry regarding
the topic, -Concept development - Project innovation Demonstration of technical feasibility. The winner is Ms Venjia Liu, Landscape Institute, UK “Storm on the Slope: A Symphony of Wind and Rain”!

Our IFLA Europe Award was awarded to European Commission – Executive Vice President for EU Green Deal Frans Timmermans. The objective of IFLA Europe award is to recognise the work of exceptional people and organisations that believe that our way of perceiving and understanding the world, derived from our profession, could contribute to its development. Executive Vice President Timmermans addressed IFLA Europe members in a video message available on IFLA Europe website and IFLA Europe Youtube channel.

General Assembly was closed by adoption of 2021 IFLA Europe Resolution ‘Everyday Landscapeswhich urged to the relevant international organisations, national
governmental bodies and other important stakeholders to develop a holistic vision regarding cultural, social, political, environmental, and economic balance beyond political borders in their decision-making processes. The time is now for landscape architects to further promote healthy physical and social environment focusing on everyday landscapes. Healthy landscapes are fundamental for social development. Management of everyday landscapes fosters better economy, climate resilience and
health benefits based on natural resources.

We thanked our immediate past President Karin Helms for her contribution to the work and objectives of IFLA Europe during a very challenging period 2019-2021! Congratulations also to our Honorary Members: Marina Cervera de Alonso, AEP Spain, Marc Claramunt, FFP France and Tony Williams, ILI Ireland.

We would like to thank our sponsor Hunter Industries and our new sponsor Punto Design for their support! We are looking forward to developing projects together and create better and more sustainable future!

Please note our new HQ address: rue Général Tombeur 81 bus WAO 23, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

Daniela MICANOVIC, IFLA Europe Executive Secretary


2021 IFLA Europe General Assembly and 1st AEP International Landscape Congress in Spain “Landscape Here and Now”, 20-24 October 2021!


    We live uncertain times. 2020 will make history as the year where we experienced and suffered, all around the world, the costs of climate change and biodiversity lost, and the relationships between urban planning and human’s health. During some months, we put our lives in the center and we joined strengths to get ahead. We also finally understand the urgency to change the way we interact with the environment. We verified, on the ground, that science was not wrong.

    We can see the consequences of the alteration of the air quality, the water cycle and the environment. Everything is connected: the health and the extinct animal species, the hunger in the world and the soil depletion, the migrations and the water war. Meanwhile a part of the world wastes resources, the other part doesn’t have the minimum to live..

    The climate emergency forces developed countries to act: for social justice, for environmental ethics, for survival… We must proceed now and do it two directions. On one side, drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, on the other to regenerate forest, soils, seas and biodiversity. Taking care of other species is also taking care of ourselves, there is no trace of doubt and no time to lose.

    Urban, agrarian and rural, coastal and natural landscapes require, today more than ever, adequate protection, planning and management, as stated in the European Landscape Convention in 2000. More recently, the Paris Agreement, the EU Green Deal and the United Nations 2030 Agenda outlined a clear roadmap to curb the climate change. Mitigation and adaptation specify measures to reduce greenhouse gases, on the one hand, and to adapt our environment to new climate scenarios, on the other. The next decade will be decisive. The landscape is in the center of all eyes and Landscape Architects have a lot to contribute.


    According to the UN data, cities are home to more than 55% of the world’s population, 70% of carbon emissions are produced and this is where 828 million people live in slums. In 2050 the world population will reach 9.7 billion. All of this poses significant environmental and social challenges, especially in urban settings. In addition, they are closely linked to the abandonment of the rural area, which translates into an enormous loss of natural and cultural heritage. Improving the quality of life of citizens requires creating healthy spaces designed by and for the people. Green infrastructure, urban forests, streets and small parks, squares and gardens can meet many of these needs when nature-based solutions are applied. At the same time, the recovery of the rural world is announced as part of the solution to overcome the current eco-social crisis. Working in multidisciplinary teams in the analysis of the geographical, social and identity conditioning factors of a place is the only way to apply the most accurate project measures and decisions for each case.

    Landscape architecture, an academic and project discipline with more than 120 years of history, knows well the principles that govern the natural, social and cultural processes. Making natural and human dynamics compatible is inherent to the Landscape Architect´s work. We play with an advantage. Holistically analyze the characteristics and needs of the place, generate spaces of high environmental quality and improve the quality of life of individuals and communities, preserving the local character, are the principles that govern the best landscape architecture projects.

    IFLA Europe General Assembly and AEP 1st International Congress of Landscape Architecture

    Relevant information and dates

    - Congress Landscape Here and Now 20-22 October 2021

    - Web:

    Registration schedule

    - until Jun 30th – early bird registration
    - From July 1st to October 15th – Regular registration

    Call for papers:
    - April 15th 2021: Abstracts submission deadline
    - May 15th, 2021: Communication of acceptance / rejection of abstracts
    - July 30th, 2021: Papers and poster submission deadline
    - December 20th 2021; Revised papers for publication deadline

    AEP Landscape Congress proposes four lines of action:

    - Resilient Landscapes
    The processes of mitigation and adaptation to climate change have a high impact, which can be
    both positive and negative, on the landscape. The regeneration of wetlands, the restoration of rivers or the recovery of coastal zones, protect vulnerable ecosystems and inhabited environments. On the other hand, the implementation of renewable energies in the landscape affects the environmental, cultural and aesthetic values, and represents one of the greatest challenges for the next decade. We must continue to promote landscapes intrinsic to our culture and at the same time promote the use of energies that are compatible and do not negatively interfere with them. It is about reaching a balance between the economic-environmental and that of respect and protection of the landscape.Otherwise, it is imperative to give due importance to the recovery of rural landscapes that are so closely linked to our historical and cultural references. Agricultural landscapes continue to be landscapes created by man-nature interaction for centuries that must be known and protected, avoiding excessively harmful transformations in which only the economic part prevails.They are examples of integrative, interdisciplinary work and multi-criteria analysis where the best solutions must be selected based on a deep analysis of all the faces of the same prism. Landscape architects know this and are fully aware of the fight against climate change, in coherence with the preservation of the landscape

    - Healthy Landscapes
    COVID 19 has highlighted the need to have nearby spaces adapted to human needs, among which are environmental comfort, healthy food, and contact with nature that results in improved health.

    In this sense, spaces should be designed where good air and water quality is guaranteed, the production of local food products and the presence of vegetation adapted to the cultural bias of the users and the physical conditions of the environment.

    In an urban world with a constantly growing population, cities must be redesigned using nature-based solutions. In this sense, the possibilities offered by green infrastructure in any of its elements open a path of project possibilities to offer solutions adapted to local details.

    Apart from this, urban solutions must be accompanied by favoring rural development, facing the challenge of depopulation and offering alternatives where technological equity, quality spaces and social, cultural and economic resources are guaranteed.

    - Everyday landscapes
    Quality of life is not just living, but living well, and all developed and developing societies should aim for this. The mistakes made by the modern societies, and which are so difficult to solve, should serve as an example. The public space is the meeting place between people and collectives. Designing it by and for the people means breaking with old mobility paradigms, working for equity, diversity, and social interaction. Increasingly, the projects of parks, squares and streets are born on the site and return the urban space to the inhabitants, while improving the environment and favoring biodiversity.

    We must take a step forward in the development of projects in which criteria beyond aesthetics and pragmatism converge, more creative and intelligent solutions. The European Landscape Convention makes explicit reference to this type of landscapes, day-to-day landscapes where alternatives that include different social uses, technological innovations, adapted to the reality of the site and that allows mixed uses to offer universal access, such as 11 of the SDGs points out.

    - Enduring landscapes
    Landscape management is increasingly at the center of the debate. As we learned from our teachers, a project’s success is due in one third to design, another third to implementation, and the last third to maintenance. Frederick Law Olmsted already included maintenance weight as a criterion for his designs. However, great projects have been done, with a great aesthetic load, but difficult or impossible to maintain, either because of the associated cost or simply because the maintenance was not aligned with the proposal. The aesthetic-practical functionality dichotomy opens up.

    The new look at projects from an eco-social perspective aims to promote the generation of ecosystems. This must be done through a strong commitment to sustainability and a practically independent ecological dynamic.

    It is important to note that most landscapes do not have a management plan, and are the result of the evolution of society and its inhabitants. According to the scale, the management and maintenance plans have different dealings, but beyond the coordination of these strategies we must bet on care among all. Consciously involving administrations, companies and civil society. We need enduring landscapes and the collaboration of all agents is necessary, but first outreach and education is essential, starting with the approach to nature from school education centers to the last element in the administration chain, seeking involvement
    and commitment of all.

    IFLA EU General Assembly 22-24 October 2021

    Hybrid format, physical and online presence.

    For programme of the General Assembly please see document below:

    IFLA Europe
    VESTRE Hunter Industries

    IFLA Europe

    Rue Général Tombeur 81 bus WAO 23
    1040 Brussel, Belgium GSM: +32  492 319 451 Skype ID: ifla.europe Contact

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