News from IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group!
IFLA Europe Med_net working group
In 2017 a network was formed - the IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group - that brings together countries bordering the Mediterranean or that share its climatic, cultural and environmental characteristics.
The Group was founded in 2017 by the delegates from IFLA Europe National Associations from France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The next year Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey joined. One year after Lebanon joined in, the first country from another IFLA Region, and at the beginning of 2022 Med_net Working Group welcomed Morocco and Tunisia to the group. The Med_net is now complete with the participation of all Mediterranean countries that are members of IFLA Europe, IFLA Middle East and IFLA Africa.
The IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group is an initiative born within IFLA Europe and IFLA Europe will continue to support it in an inclusive trans-regional spirit. The group is under the umbrella of IFLA Europe President Katerina Gkoltsiou.
The Med_net Working Group represents a link between IFLA Regions not only on paper, it translate into a crossborder collaboration on shared issues.
The mission of IFLA Europe is to promote landscape architecture in institutional issues and policies at every level, local, national and global, to establish quality standards for landscape projects and for professional landscape education and to facilitate the exchange of knowledges and experiences between the members, National Associations.
The aim of the IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group is to raise awareness about Landscape Architect work in common issues for the countries bordering the Mediterranean, optimise 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.
During the first meeting in June 2018, Med_net Working Group has developed an open list of possible topics of interest to all Mediterranean countries, divided into five macro-areas: environment, climate, social, culture, policies. From this list specific themes are formulated to be dealt with in depth through research on innovative techniques and technologies, design solutions (best practices) and regulations or laws that make it possible to operate optimally in the individual countries.
In 2019/20 the group concentrated on Stormwater management. A booklet on this topic Designing Change - Stormwater Management has been crafted in four languages.
The main theme for 2021/2022 is TREES and a new publication treating TREES – from the landscape architect’s point of view - with special regard to the Mediterranean environment is “under construction”.
A “spin off” working group on the present theme TREES/ALBERI got together in Italy with the intent to gather and organise data.
IFLA Europe Med_net working group is pursuing its key objective to research the main theme through speeches and conferences with experts in the various Med_net countries and particularly during the Spring Meeting, a 4 days appointment with working sessions, technical visits and public conferences, hosted by the Med_net countries in turn. These Spring Meetings are the group’s main “market place” for exchanging knowledge and experiences between the representatives of the Med_net countries. The all year round working group’s activity consists in collecting and sharing relevant information on specific Mediterranean topics, best practices and innovative solutions to common problems.
All research data and scientific outcome of the group’s work is shared through the IFLA Europe’s website and made available to the IFLA community. One of Group’s next tasks is to better organise and manage the growing data archive. Presently, there are two volunteers working on that, but we’ll seek funding to allow for a scientific archiving that is not exclusively based on the spare time of a handful of landscape professionals.
We mean to fulfill our declared intention to focus also on the specifically Mediterranean aspects of landscape architecture education programs in the Med_net countries. And we’ll try to reach out to politicians, administrators, technicians and the public with our concerns and proposals.
After laying the foundations for a valid professional network during its first 4 years of existence (two of them with the restrictions due to the pandemic) and strong in the participation of the complete circle of IFLA’s Mediterranean countries the IFLA Europe Med_net working group is now ready to capitalize past experiences and prove its full potential.
The enrichment represented by the cultural diversity and wide range of professional experiences of the group’s members is the main strong point of the Med_net. We all profit from that exchange as professionals and also as human beings.
Uta Zorzi Mühlmann, AIAPP Italy Delegate
IFLA Europe Med_net Working Group chair