Overview of 2022 IFLA Europe General Assembly 14-16 October 2022, Helsinki, Finland
33rd IFLA Europe General Assembly 14-16 October 2022, Helsinki, Finland
More than 90 Delegates, Presidents, members of the National Associations, members of Working Groups and Observers from 28 IFLA Europe member countries participated in the 33rd IFLA Europe General Assembly which took place in Helsinki, Finland 14-16 October 2022.
The General Assembly followed the International Landscape Architecture Day ‘Boldness and Beauty’ organised by the Finnish National Association of Landscape Architects MARK (Suomen maisema-arkkitehtiliitto) on 14 October 2022.
The Congress addressed the issues of Boldness and Beauty in Landscape Architecture.
Boldness - By raising the profile of the debate, we see that taking on a socially significant expert role requires courage and responsibility. Until now, the formation of our profession has required taking bold action, and now there is a greater need for action than ever before. It is time for Landscape Architects to take on a leading role in the development of the landscape. We ask, under what conditions can we, as Landscape Architects, act more boldly at this moment, and by what means will we redeem this mandate? How can each of us act boldly in our own work and how do we see our own responsibility in our actions?
Beauty - Aesthetics is one of the cornerstones of landscape architecture. There are now numerous new themes on the design table to solve and coordinate. For this reason, it is timely to ask what is the role of beauty and aesthetics in landscape architecture. The skill of our profession to create beauty undoubtedly adds value to projects, but how can we make better use of this expertise? What is the value of beauty in a world of change and crisis?
Boldness and Beauty - By bringing these two themes together, we want to launch an internal identity debate within the profession. Can these boldness and beauty together form the guiding themes for the design of the urban landscape of the 21st century? Through what examples, design projects, and actions can these themes be defined in landscape architecture? Will one come before the other, or are boldness and beauty prerequisites for each other?
Bold and beautiful speakers at the Congress included experts, professors, professionals, namely: Kati Outinen, Aada Taipale, Michael Jacob, Malin Blomqvist, Edgar Kaare, Ronald Rietveld, Laura Yli-Jama, Signe Nielsen, Eetu Mykkänen, Jenny Osuldsen. Congratulations to MARK President Pia Kuusiniemi and the whole MARK Team for organising this fantastic event!
We had Executive Council Elections with new Executive Council members elected for a two-year mandate 2022-2024:
Diana Culescu, IFLA Europe Secretary General, elected in her second 2-year term 2022-2024
John Boon, NVTL Delegate to IFLA Europe was elected IFLA Europe Treasurer for his first 2-year term 2022-2024 and will take up the post on 1 January 2023. 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.
President Katerina Gkoltsiou emphasised the importance of IFLA EUROPE being well governed, financially stable, as well as flexible to be always at the forefront of the most recent developments. She underlined that IFLA Europe will continue providing support to our members – National Associations of Landscape Architecture in achieving the high standards in education and professional practice, through networking and exchange of opinions/ideas, lectures, and seminars, assisting on young professionals and involving the delegates and members. We launched Members Database https://iflaeurope.eu/ (for members of National Associations) aimed at collecting the important information about members’ competencies, skills, capabilities and expertise and will become a pool of experts. As such IFLA Europe will be able to promote the Landscape Architect’s role and to suggest experts/field when this is requested from sister organisations and EU institutions. IFLA EUROPE will increase
visibility at all levels in European policies development, through the establishment of cooperation, promotion, and dissemination of activities in relation to profession and education.
We will continue important cooperation with the Council of Europe in landscape architecture matters as IFLA Europe is Observer and 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.
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 as well as European Parliament and other bodies in order to raise the profile of the profession and underline important role of
Landscape Architects in fighting climate change impact.
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.
Our Med_net Working Group presented its work and booklet “Designing Change - Trees in the Mediterranean City - Beyond Climate Change: good rules for a new coexistence between humans and trees” as the end result of Med_net Conference organised by FFP France in May 2022, Marseille, France.
The theme for 2023 Med_net conference was announced - LANDSCAPE DIVERSITY - and the next Med_net spring meeting and conference will take place in Alicante, Spain 11-14 May 2023, hosted by AEP Spain!
Secretary General Diana Culescu led the discussion about the necessary changes to our Statutes in order to enable IFLA Europe participate in external funding and research programmes. There was unanimous decision to amend IFLA Europe Statutes and Regulations for IFLA Europe to have access to the external research and funding programmes which will enable IFLA Europe have a more prominent role and raise awareness about the profession.
Call for project proposals involving cooperation among National Associations was relaunched to stimulate and support National Associations’ cooperation through networking and exchange of opinions and ideas in order to address challenges and to strengthen relations within our professional community.
Further activities will be made to support the activities of National Associations as well as provide necessary information, assistance and guidance to potential IFLA Europe members.
Vice President for Education Margarida Cancela d’Abreu encouraged Universities and Schools of Landscape Architecture to apply for IFLA Europe recognition of landscape architecture programmes and announced that this will now be possible through online SRP application on IFLA Europe website https://iflaeurope.eu/
Abrochure on ‘Why IFLA Europe recognition of landscape architecture programmes’ was produced in order to inform all stakeholders– schools, National Associations, students and general public – why it was important for Landscape Architecture programmes to be recognised by IFLA Europe!(IFLA Europe website, under Education/Strategic Objectives/School Recognition Panel).
IFLA Europe School Recognition Panel reviewed and recognised four landscape architecture programmes for a period of 5 years (2022-2027):
- Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - ULiège, ISIa Gembloux – HECh and La Cambre-Horta Faculty of Architecture – ULB - Bachelor+Master in Landscape Architecture, 3 years+2 years, 180 ECTS+120 ECTS;
- Norwegian University of Life Sciences - Master of Landscape Architecture, 5 years, 300 ECTS and Master of Landscape Architecture for Global Sustainability, 2 years, 120 ECTS;
- Amsterdam University of the Arts - Master in Landscape Architecture, 4 years, 240 ECTS;
- Cracow University of Technology - Engineer degree in Landscape Architecture 3,5 years, 210 ECTS and Master in Landscape Architecture 1,5 years, 90 ECTS.
List of all landscape architecture programmes recognised by IFLA Europe is available on our website https://iflaeurope.eu/index.php/site/general/srp
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. IFLA Europe will actively participate in ECLAS Landscape Forum Stuttgart Region in 2023.
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.
InnoLAND project results and two main objectives were presented 1) developing a Common Training Framework for Landscape Architecture and 2) concept of the Exemplar Master in Landscape Architecture programme - working on issues such as fields of knowledge, understanding and skills, blocks of competences, educational modules and professional training requirements. Draft Common Training Framework for Landscape Architecture is sent to all National Associations to provide comments on the principles outlined and collect feedback from Landscape Architecture schools/universities in their respective countries. This will help IFLA Europe and its partners continue further efforts in establishment of the Common Training Framework.
Vice President for Professional Practice Didier Vancutsem presented IFLA Europe general Action Plan 2022-2023, which focused on the following objectives: developing a guidance to National Associations related to professional recognition (technical assistance, mobilisation), assisting young professionals (networking), and developing an overview of professional knowledge of individuals (capacity, knowledge) throughout Europe and beyond. According to the Action Plan, additional objectives are the dimension of making the landscape architecture profession more visible and the increase of awareness to other disciplines, together with the lobbying for the profession at European level and beyond.
European Landscape Architecture Mobility Platform – was presented as a landscape portal gateway - mobility and project tool that will benefit to all European professionals and become visible in European networking events, conferences, publications and IFLA website.
Climate Change Working Group presented future activities and announced the next IFLA Europe’s Position Paper on Biodiversity – all members were invited to send comments and examples.
Agricultural Landscapes Working Group presented its activities and proclaimed the winner of the Call for Images for Rural Landscapes Álvaro Casanova from Spain with entry ‘Corkage in the dehesas of Extremadura’!
New European Bauhaus (NEB) Working group will work on the publication and proceedings of the of the conference IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Festival Conference ‘Places’, 11 June 2022 Brussels, Belgium - “Reconnecting with Nature – Landscape Architects at the forefront of the urban transformation” as well as future
related NEB activities.
Call was launched to join Working Group Landscape Architecture Profession whose objectives are the professional recognition of Landscape Architects throughout EU and abroad, the promotion of the professional development and highest standards of practice, free movement of professionals within EU and certification of delivery of
highest standards of professional qualification.
National Associations were invited to fill in IFLA World Global Survey on Landscape Architecture Profession
Vice President for Communications Darija Perkovic-Bosnjak informed about the work of the Communications group and the Communication strategy and products aimed to raise awareness about IFLA Europe, the profession of landscape architects and important role they play in the society. We are delighted to see many new
volunteers joining Communications Group.
Pecha Kucha presentations on realised projects from our National Associations on the current General Assembly topic were presented!
We proclaimed the winners of 2022 IFLA Europe Student and Young Professionals’ Competition ! The Jury 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.
As prize, both winners were invited by IFLA Europe to participate in MARK Finland Congress and present their work at the General Assembly.
IFLA Europe Exhibition 2022 “Reconsidering Nature” was officially presented! Its objective is to show the contemporary role of landscape architecture in creating space. Total of 53 projects from 20 countries depict unique map of landscape architect intervention in terms of the nature re-consideration. National Associations are invited to
promote the exhibition and organise events to promote it.
Our IFLA Europe Award was awarded to Sirpa Pietikainen, Member of the European Parliament. 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.
Maguelonne Dejeant-Pons, past Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe European Landscape Convention was awarded IFLA Europe Honorary Membership.
General Assembly was closed by the adoption of 2022 IFLA Europe Resolution ‘Bold and Beautiful Landscapes for next generation’ , which underlines that:
- Landscape Architects, through their training and their experience in planning, design, science, and management provide the essential requisite skills for this. Landscape architects can guide bold transformations towards mutual wellbeing of people and nature. In addition, they have the capacity to enhance the beauty of nature in both urban and rural environments.
- Boldness is needed. In raising the profile of our common new cultural project, taking on a socially significant expert role by designers requires courage and responsibility. The same attitude is asked of commissioners and politicians.
- Aesthetics and ethics are indivisible cornerstones of landscape architecture. New elements are introduced into landscapes for dealing with climate change (storm water management features, installations for renewable energies like wind power, photovoltaic, urban agriculture, and much more) The skill of our profession to integrate beauty in such projects undoubtedly helps with acceptance whilst bringing cultural value to these.
We had presentations from:
- Hunter Industries: Landscape Drought Resilience from HUNTER Industries on Best Practices to save water with following expertise advice 1) Audit the irrigation system regularly 2) Replace conventional spray nozzles with high-efficiency nozzles 3) Regulate pressure within the system 4) Convert shrub, perennial, and annual beds to micro irrigation 5) Irrigate trees separately from turf and shrubs 6) Develop an irrigation schedule for the days you’re allowed to water 7) Replace conventional controllers with weather sensors and smart controllers 8) Always plant responsibly.
- VESTRE on building The Plus - the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory. Sustainability and openness have guided every aspect of the factory – from the design of working conditions to the accommodation of electric heavy goods vehicles and the management of the surrounding forest. Together, Vestre and BIG have thereby created an entirely new typology, where people, production, technology, architecture and nature are completely integrated in each other.
- ASUNI SOFT Lands Design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5Nx1W3h0vo on software and new technologies and give support to design professionals specialized in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Engineering, Industrial Design, Graphic Design and related industries. During these years, Asuni has become a company group, the most important being Asuni Soft (commercial names are Asuni CAD and icreatia) and McNeel Europe.The main products of ASUNI are VisualARQ (BIM architectural plugin for Rhino) and Lands Design which is the landscape design software in versions for Rhino, AutoCAD and Civil 3D.
We take the opportunity to say a big thank you to our Treasurer Hermann Georg Gunnlaugsson, member of FILA Iceland and long-committed and long-devoted member of IFLA Europe Executive Council, Working Groups and IFLA Europe. Hermann’s contribution to IFLA Europe during the past 8 years, either as FILA Delegate to IFLA Europe, member of Working Groups, past Vice President for Professional Practice and IFLA Europe Treasurer was always aimed at raising the profile of the profession of landscape architecture, working towards its recognition, working on various IFLA Europe policies, working on ensuring solid and prudent finances. He always worked to the best interest of IFLA Europe and we are wishing him all the best in his new role as the Treasurer of IFLA World.
We would like to thank our sponsor HUNTER Industries, VESTRE,Green Blue Urban and ASUNI SOFT Lands Design for their support! We are looking forward to developing projects together and create better and more sustainable future!
IFLA Europe Executive Secretary