In 2017 a network IFLA Europe Med_Net working group - that brings together countries bordering the Mediterranean or that share its climatic and environmental characteristics. The aim of the working group is to optimize the work of landscape architects on similar issues by concentrating their efforts, increasing awareness and ensuring a more efficient communication, while saving energy and resources.

The constituent group is made up of delegates from Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Israel with Italy as coordinator. At the beginning of 2019 the delegates of Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey have joined in, completing the number of Mediterranean countries of IFLA Europe. In 2020 delegate from Middle East joined the Working Group, followed by delegates of the Mediterranean countries of IFLA Africa - Morocco and Tunisia in 2022.

The first meeting of the working group was held in Lecce, Italy, in June 2018. On this occasion the mission and objectives of the group’s work have been defined, a schedule and agenda were set and opportunities for the first concrete activities have been drafted.


The main reason why we have come together is that we all share a strong concern about the challenges regarding:

  • Climate/Environment
  • Social/Cultural issues
  • Political/Economical issues
  • Landscape education

What is our mission?

  • To share the cultural and environmental values of challenges common to all
  • To identify the principal topics and opportunities of the specific conditions common to all
  • To declare the Mediterraneity of these issues
  • To develop a network based on sharing experiences and exchanging knowledges
  • To share initiatives, information and documentation on educational matters

The group meets twice a year: the Spring Meeting is held in rotation in the member countries. A topic related conference reporting the member countries projects will be scheduled in parallel. The second annual meeting will coincide with the IFLA Europe General Assembly. In this Autumn Meeting the working group intends to choose the arguments that express the moments concerns and to seize opportunities to go public efficiently and draw specific partners in. This “topic of the year” will be the core issue for the group’s work on which the member countries will focus their efforts (research, events, communication…) as and how they consider best for their specific interest. During the remaining time work will be carried out according to the specific opportunities and needs of the member countries. The results of all the works and researches will be shared and made available to the members of the Med_net.

Members of Med_Net Working Group:

Uta Zorzi, AIAPP, Italy, Med_Net Chair
Darija Perkovic, Croatia
Lena Athanassiadou, Greece
Nikola Watté, France
Leor Lovinger, Israel
Margarida Cancela d’Abreu, Portugal
Urban Svegl, Slovenia
Manuel Sanchez, Spain
Sukran Sahin, Turkey
Marlene Chahine, Lebanon, IFLA Middle East
James MacGregor, AAPM Morocco, IFLA Africa
Saidane Hamdi, TALAE Tunisia, IFLA Africa
Daniela Micanovic, IFLA Europe

FFP France hosts 2022 Med_net Conference “Trees in Landscape Project” 19-22 May 2022, Marseille, France

French Landscape Federation (FFP) hosted 2022 Med_Net Group (Mediterranean network) of IFLA Europe in Marseille 18-22 May 2022.

Two days of conferences (including an introductory ‘Landscape experience(s)’), encounters, technical visits, experiences feedback and debates, open to all actors of landscape professions were organised.

The audience was composed of landscape architects from Mediterranean and European countries (network of the French Landscape Federation), students from landscape architecture, architecture and environment courses, scientists, researchers, public figures and decision-makers, local professionals (landscape contractors and UNEP members, nurseries and horticulturists from FNPHP). The conferences are open to interested persons from the general public.

... Between political and operational decision… Between territorial planning strategy and technical implementation detail… The landscape architect constantly faces changing scales and works daily and in every step of the process in favor of the trees and the living.

An international overview of the role and importance of trees (in every possible aspect) in our contemporary landscapes, and an open forum about practical landscape projects in the Mediterranean area!

The Med_net Spring Meeting is a four days event that has become a fixed feature in the working group’s agenda. This is the occasion to exchange our professional

experiences, discuss the good and bad news regarding the profession in the Med_net countries and develop strategies for common issues.

We meet in turn in one of the Med_net countries and the National Association hosts the 4-days event supporting the entire cost for all members from Thursday to Sunday. During these days we engage in a series of events regarding the Med_net’s main theme, like encounters or technical visits and conferences that the National Association of the hosting country organize and where all members of the Med_net working group participate as speakers. Two half days are dedicated to the group’s working sessions, where we discuss opportunities and problems arising in our respective countries and work on various tasks regarding the Med_net and its projects. On this occasion we also decide on the main theme to adopt for the coming year.

In 2022 the Spring Meeting has been hosted by the French Landscape Federation (FFP) in Marseille from May 19th to 22nd 2022. The theme was “Trees in the Mediterranean Landscape Project”.

On Thursday 19th May afternoon present Med_net group members met the students from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage who were showing their final studio works and explaining their design strategies.

The official opening event was a dialogue on trees by Francis Hervé & Véronique Mure open to the public.

Later in the evening, in the school’s cafeteria, we had our welcome meeting, where we share personal and professional news and some special food that everyone has brought over from their country.

Friday 20th of May was a full day’s program organised by FFP: a conference with speeches from colleagues from Southern France and the Med_net group members. In
conclusion, two technical visits were organised: with Guérric Péré to La Plateforme d’expérimentation des Fabriques, laboratoire-jardin de l’arbre en ville, an experimental planting plot where the proposed plants for the EPA Euroméditerranée are tested and a guided tour with the authors of the just implemented Jardin de Migrations au Fort Saint-Jean/MuCEM.

Saturday 21st May morning was again dedicated to the exposition of particularly interesting projects regarding trees explained by the authors with a lively discussion session.

In the afternoon the group was busy in the working session. We discussed and decided on some issues:
1_ changes within the group;
2_the Med_net Working Group’s rules;
of tasks;
4_data archiving;
5_New booklet
6_Med_net theme 2023.

Uta Zorzi, Med_net group chair, presented the alternative proposals for the layout and title of the new booklet currently in progress and together we worked on the modification.

Saturday evening visit of the permaculture vegetable garden and organic vineyard that had been presented during the morning conference as example of nature base solutions in the cultivation of vineyards.

The Sunday morning working session continued with discussion on issues from the day before:
7_present and future budget;
8_financing of future Spring Meetings;
10_agenda of events;
11_hosting of the next Spring Meeting.

Med_Net meetings:
2022 Med_Net, Marseille, FRANCE - Trees in Mediterranean Landscape Project
2019 Med_Net, Tel Aviv, ISRAEL- Mediterranean Skylines and Floodplains: Cities and Nature
2018 Med_Net, Lecce, ITALY - Landscape architects in the Mediterranean countries - opportunities and challenges

2019 Med_net Conference Tel Aviv, Israel
2019 Med_net Conference Tel Aviv, Israel

Med_Net at IFLA Europe Gen Assembly Antalya 2019
Med_Net at IFLA Europe General Assembly Antalya 2019

Med_net theme 2022: TREES_list of macro areas

The theme TREES is divided into the following macro areas indicating lines of research and communication. According to these macro areas the member countries of the IFLA
Europe Med_net Working Group will organized events and actions during 2021/2022.

1_Trees in urban environment (public space)
1a_ecosystem benefits (microclimate, sound absorption, hydrogeological balance, ...)
1b_the species to be used; needs for space, exposure, soil,…; resistance to particular conditions (flooding, draught, pollution, salinity, ...)
1c_care of the existing arboreal heritage; proper maintenance, proper pruning, root protection, ...
1d_problems and solutions (ex: roots that raise the pavement); climate change and consequences

Designing landscapes with trees
2a_landscape aspects; identity, character and habit; functions;
2b_compositive aspects (lines, points, volumes, ...); scales and proportions;
2c_different trees for different situations; the right tree in the right place;
2d_social aspects

3_The tree as a system
3a_woods and forests
_cultivation for income: agricultural; silvo-pastoral; renewable energy;
3c_cultivation for utilitarian/ecosystemic reasons: extra-urban avenues; soil consolidation; windbreak; acoustic barrier;
3d_cultivation for therapeutic uses: silvotherapy; healing gardens, tree hugging, ...
3e_hosting of biodiversity

4_Trees as heritage
4a_historical parks and gardens
4b_material heritage: monumental specimens; ancient trees; primary forests;
4c_intangible heritage: history and stories; myths; meanings (religious, cultural, traditional, ...); cultivation systems/techniques of the past;
4d_iconography; trees and the arts (literature, music, performance, ...)
4e_treatments, care and cure of over mature trees

5_Trees and risk management
5a_forest fires
5b_in case of floods, landslides, landslides, storms;
5c_stability of trees; VTA assessment techniques;
5d_phytopathology of trees (knowledge and care); spread of parasites, antagonistic pathogens;
5e_consequences of climate change
5f_mechanic damage and correct pruning

6_Management of trees
6a_legislative aspects, regulatory aspects (regulations in force at different institutional levels)
6b_economic aspects
6c_maintenance + protection of trees

We understand that in many countries the wider public, but also a good part of the decision makers in various institutions have only a very incomplete knowledge of trees, of their needs and living conditions. The IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group considers important to offer the necessary information to facilitate the understanding of the “world of trees” to different groups of users and various levels of knowledge.

7_How do trees live? (education, information, communication)
7a_program of landscape education in schools (forestry projects in schools’ exterior spaces, guided visits, …)
7b_disseminate environmental and landscape knowledge with the general public
7c_inform administrators, politicians and decision makers

© Background photo by KAROLINA WASZEK

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