New Year Message from Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President
The last days of 2022 can be an emotional time for all of us and to remind us of all the great memories we’ve cherished along the way. Although, it has been a very difficult year for the humankind, due to the unsettling pandemic and the post-epidemic impacts, the war happening in Ukraine and the effects from natural disasters, we have all showed a tremendous courage to enhance our common understanding that we are here all together for the welfare of the profession and the prosperity or our landscape and nature.
During these 12 months, we gained new delegates and allies, we lost beloved friends and as Executive Council, we evaluated and tested our capacities and volunteer eagerness to accomplish the actions and tasks as specified in the 2022-2023 Action Plan. Above all we aimed to be active, flexible and extrovert, empowering the collective spirit of members-national associations, to establish the importance of all matters relating to landscape and landscape architecture as the physical, socio-economic, cultural, visual, conceptual, and spatial context of our European communities. To champion for the quality and excellence in profession, we have created the Members’ Database which will be a source of different expertise offered by IFLA Europe and its Member Associations so that we can better respond to requests we receive from European Commission, Council of Europe or other organisations seeking professional advice or expertise in various fields.
We were concentrated on actions for a greener, more inclusive, and sustainable future, that is just and beautiful for the planet and healthy lives. Our 2022 resolution enhanced the idea of boldness and beauty for landscape architecture profession and landscapes.At the same time, we were trying to promote the collaboration between several actors and stakeholders, to promote the interdisciplinary idea of co-working towards a greener cultural transition for climate neutrality. We were aiming towards a comprehensive approach, which enables inclusive planning, design and management processes at all scales and levels in landscape.
As such, all IFLA Europe’s webinars were addressing several topics involving stakeholders from the academia, practice, and governance. The topic of health in accordance with nature, showed the value and importance of nature and landscape for human wellbeing as well as the contribution of Landscape Architects through design and management on healing our ordinary places. The synergy between urban and rural was promoted aiming at a new agenda for sustainable food production securing clean water, clean air, microbial healthy soils, nature recovery and build resilience for the future. The topics of nature and nature-based solutions (NBS) were illustrated, presenting the value of NBS through a sustainable Landscape Architect’s approach and thinking.
It was a fully productive year of materials starting from the IFLA Europe exhibition, thematic booklets, organised competitions and brochures. All these could not have happened without the continuous work of IFLA EUROPE EXCO members, Working Group Chairs and members and our tireless Executive Secretary.
I would like to thank you all for your support and commitment. My warmest wishes for Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!
IFLA Europe President