The Future of Landscape over the Next 50 Years
The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s New Landscape Declaration: Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, which was held in Philadelphia, was attended by more than 700 landscape architects. The event revealed the visions for landscape architects over the next 50 years. Landscape architects have to coordinate their actions altogether to present sustainable and crafty open spaces and parks, sustain all life forms on the planet, preserve historical landscapes, help communities adjust to a changing world and fight climate change.
Short idea-packed talks and declarations were used by the speakers. Attendees, on the other hand, were given polls, cards and a collaborative app to provide their idea into a new declaration and create a vision to guide landscape architects.
During the event, many landscape architects reminisced about the things that have been attained over the past 50 years. An ambitious global vision was also created through the bold statements made by those who attended the event.
One of the visions of what landscape architects should work to attain over the next 50 years is addressing the grim issues of waste, food, water and air in developing countries.
According to Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture Alpa Nawre from Kansas State University, landscape architects should turn their efforts on developing countries where the majority of the current population and population growth in the future will occur. It’s expected that the global population will reach 9.6 billion in future decades. Alpa Nawre stated that better landscape systems should be designed for resource management to accommodate this growth.
SWA Group CEO Gerdo Aquino shared the same sentiment. According to Gerdo Aquino, there will be more stringent regulations on natural resources in the future as they become more valuable and scarcer. Landscape architects will have a larger part in managing and valuing those resources.
For Christophe Girot from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zuric, “new topical landscapes” will be needed for the 9.6 billion who will live in the planet.
Improving on urbanization-as-usual was also another highlight of the event. James Corner Field Operations founder James Corner promoted speeding up urbanization to protect nature. He proposed embedding pleasure and beauty in cities in the form of gardens and parks to make people want to live in the city. The vision of the James Corner Field Operations founder is a garden city that benefits from landscape imagination.
Chris Marcinkowski from the University of Pennsylvania said that landscape architects should work with urbanization’s fundamental systems and adapt them.
University of Pennsylvania associate professor David Gouverneur proposed using new methods to the informal communities where he works in Venezuela where the traditional process of design and planning fails. He suggested retrofitting these areas through an “informal armature approach” that can create communal nodes and pathways as well as places of flexible development that allow locals to occupy. According to him, new planning and design approach can better meet the needs of people residing in informal communities.
Another highlight of the event was creating a future for other life forms on the planet. According to Nina-Marie Lister, a Ryerson University professor, better respecting the other known species on Earth is an important part of making that fair landscape design and planning approach possible. E.O. Wilson, author of Half Earth, suggested preserving half of Earth for the other species.
An important piece was missing from the event, however. There were no deliberations on how to better work with ecologists, engineers, urban planners, architects, scientists and developers on developing a mutual vision that can boost their collective impact, sustainable transportation and how the need for better health could become a key demand factor for landscape architecture.