Climate Change and COP15 meeting Statement by IFLA

The following is the full statement from International Federation of Landscape Architects released on Friday 4th December in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) meeting

Statement by the International Federation of Landscape Architects
The International Federation of Landscape Architects encourages the development and adoption of a Global Landscape Convention to assist nations working to address the impact of climate change on the world’s landscapes and people. They offer this idea for consideration at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, on 7-18 December 2009.

The President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects released this statement on Friday, 4 December in advance of the meeting of leaders from around the world for the United Nations Climate Chang conference in Copenhagen.

‘The leaders will be talking about the landscapes of the world, as we know them, and the future of people and species that live in them, Dr Diane Menzies, the President said.

‘The expected participation by some 100 of the world’s political leaders as well as from numerous other groups reflects extreme international concern, Dr Menzies said.

‘One single change such as sea level rise, will have an immense impact on coastal cities and populations around the globe. Landscapes as we know them are endangered. In preparing an agreed approach landscape architects hope that effects on landscapes and those who live there will be reduced and processes for co-operation to mitigate impacts will be developed.’

‘Countries such as Netherlands have been developing policies to manage landscapes threatened with inundation, but small Pacific Island nations lack the resources to adequately cope with expected impacts. They may lose their homes and islands. There are thousands of kilometres of coastline in my country, New Zealand which will irrevocably change, taking with it the history, ecology, and relations people have built with these loved coastlines. This is just one small example of the immensity of change we must address,’ said Dr Menzies.

The statement released to United Nations continued with the following information.

Landscapes change
All landscapes change over time. Climate change though is the greatest threat to the Earth’s landscapes. These threats include destruction of landscapes such as Pacific Islands through inundation caused by sea level rise. They include large-scale damage caused by floods and other weather related events and changes. They include impacts on ecosystems and species, and impacts on special heritage and everyday landscapes. Climate change will separate people from cherished places as they now know them.
Perversely the global thrust to minimise carbon discharge by moving to renewable energy resources including wind turbines, to reduce the effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions, is also having major visual and other impacts on landscapes around the globe. Thus the worlds landscapes (and people) are affected by the impact of climate change as well as current methods to develop renewable energy resources.

Sustainable land use practices
For more than a century since the profession of landscape architecture formed, we have supported the principle of stewardship of land. Landscape architects advocate the wise planning, artful design and careful maintenance of all landscapes through developing sustainable land use policies, ecologically conscious practices and working with communities to enable their loved places to be protected, or integrated into neighbourhoods and cities

Global Landscape Convention

Based on the success of the European Landscape Convention in forewarning and assisting land managers and decision makers to tackle climate change impacts on landscapes throughout Europe, the International Federation of Landscape Architects is promoting a Global Landscape Convention. This will assist people to address the immense changes that will come about from climate change. We seek your support to promote the value of this idea as a means to address climate change impacts on the landscapes of the globe.

Climate adaptation tools
A project to investigate, assess and promote suitable Climate Adaptation Tools for Sustainable Settlements (CATSS) is currently underway, the task being undertaken by our member the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. This will provide practical support for those dealing with change and will be available next year.
Other initiatives underway will address the Right to Landscape and sustainable infrastructure, all intended to continue to find better ways to manage and minimise environmental risk through sustainable design, innovative storm water management and recognition of community values. IFLA is dedicated to using all traditional and non-traditional tools available to positively influence environmental outcomes including but not limited to climate change. These ideas may include design guidelines through to education and economic tools. IFLA supports the material profiling and economic market place tools being currently developed.

Sustainable by Design
The International Federation supports the International Union of Architects on their ‘Sustainable by Design’ initiative and commend this to decision-makers and practitioners.

Sustainable world
Our members work for a sustainable world and sustainable landscapes using wise practice, methods and tools. We look to the wisdom of decision-makers in Copenhagen to minimise climate change and so reduce impacts on threatened landscapes of the world.

Dr Diane Menzies
President, International Federation of Landscape Architects

For further information and download of this statement please contact:
www.iflaonline.org

Boston Architectural College announces Master of Landscape Architecture Program

The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce the addition of a Master of Landscape Architecture Program. Approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education for this five year professional degree program, at the graduate level, was received in November following a three-day team visit that resulted in a highly supportive report.

The Master of Landscape Architecture Program at the Boston Architectural College will promote and support faculty and student interdisciplinary research and education in the context of Boston and the surrounding areas. The School will act as a repository of knowledge and research in the exploration of public green spaces, interstitial urban spaces, geology, hydrology, urban ecology, history, and culture in the greater Boston area. While the programs emphasis will be on the urban condition, the breadth of knowledge and research will extend to the Charles River and Mystic River Watersheds, the state, the region, and the Northeast Corridor.

Continue reading Boston Architectural College announces Master of Landscape Architecture Program

New temporary urban space by SLA for the COP15 arrival area

towards-metro

When thousands of COP15 delegates arrive at the climate summit in the Bella Center, they will not be bored in the queue. SLA has staged the arrival area with a temporary urban space that provides food for thought.

With the project White Balance it is SLA’s intention to put focus on the factors in our cities related to the climate issues pivotal to COP15.

chalk-pond-close
SURFACES

Bright surfaces reflect the sunlight, thus restricting the city’s overheating and CO2 imprint. The reflection also means that you can reduce the energy used by the street lighting. To draw attention to this, the surface of the arrival area is replaced with a giant circle of white limestone.

The limestone also tells another story: Rainwater that is acidified by the CO2-levels in the atmosphere is neutralized by the limestone. The circle will slowly disappear as long as there is an unnatural level of CO2 in the rainwater.

red-tree
BIOMASS

Trees and plants absorb water and CO2. They increase evaporation, provide shade and shelter, creating a comfortable microclimate – all things that will reduce the impact of the CO2 emission. The trees in the arrival area are a reminder of these beneficial effects. The nature will in future cities be integrated in everything we do, if they are to be sustainable.

biopond
WATER

The changing climate’s violent rainfalls coupled with the cities’ sealed surfaces often result in flooding. One solution is to use local seepage and establish delay pools, that also are beautiful and recreational oases in the cities. The arrival area contains 3 water mirrors, each with its own theme. One water mirror contains lime, and a slight bluish tone is visible similarly to the sea below famed Moens Cliff in Denmark. Another water mirror contains bio waste, which slowly will decompose – nature’s way of recycling its own resources. A third is surrounded by water jets, emitting a water cloud every two minutes. During COP15 the pulse daily consumes the same volume of clean water as used by the average Dane.

Stig L. Andersson: The city is an ecosystem where each part is interdependent. Nature and city are not opposites, but merely different systems, that as a whole must be in balance. COP15 will affect the possibility for a future balance between human urbanization and Earths ressources. The arrival area at COP15 will hopefully inspire to this thinking.

Read more at SLA

SOURCE: SLA
IMAGE SOURCE: SLA

£1.5 billion contract awarded for regeneration of Elephant & Castle

London Borough of Southwark announced that they have awarded the £1.5 billion (circa A$2.7 billion) regeneration of Elephant & Castle to Lend Lease.

The project is one of the most significant schemes of its type in Europe, comprising over 300,000 square metres of new build, mixed-use development, together with major infrastructure improvements and a range of enhanced community facilities. The location, within two miles of London’s West End, is unrivalled for a development of this scale.

The scheme comprises six phases. The first phase demolition is scheduled to commence in February 2010. Detailed planning consent for the first phase is expected to be achieved by April 2011. Both parties have expressed their commitment to work together on the redevelopment of all six phases of the site.

SOURCE: Lend Lease

IMAGE SOURCE: Elephant & Castle

Work begins on Preston parks restoration

lep.co.uk reports

Work to restore two Lancashire parks to their original Victorian designs has under way. Diggers moved into the wet and muddy Avenham and Miller Parks to kick off phase two of the multi-million pound restoration project.

It has been made possible due to £2.35m of funding which was recently secured from the North West Development Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

read the full article at the [SOURCE: lep.co.uk – Work begins on restoring Preston parks]

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