We call it:
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The first ever bilateral
IFLA World Congress –
On site in two locations – the world’s largest event for landscape architecture and urban planning taking place simultaneously in Stockholm and Nairobi.
We call it:
Stockholm & Nairobi
What is IFLA World Congress 2023 all about?
Johanna Good, Architects Sweden (top left) and Ruth Wanjiku, AAK, Kenya (top middle), landscape architects and project leaders of IFLA 2023 explain what is happening and why, at the first bilateral congress in September. In the picture are also Cecily Murage (top right) and Rachel Patience Mulondo (front) from the Kenyan team.
Why is AAK, the Architectural Association of Kenya, arranging the IFLA World Congress 2023?
Ruth: The IFLA World Congress is the premier annual landscape Architects event globally that brings together scholars and practitioners in landscape architecture and liaised professionals.
The AAK is an organisation of seven disciplines in the built environment and hence hosting such an event presents opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and interactions. Further, the previous IFLA World Congresses have been poorly attended by delegates from the African continent. By hosting the event in Kenya, African delegates will incur less on travel and have lesser travel requirements as compared to travel to countries outside Africa.
Why is Architects Sweden arranging the IFLA World Congress 2023?
Johanna: Arranging the IFLA WC is a prestiguos event, bringing the global perspective of the field of landscape architecture to the agenda. The purpose of the congress is to strengthen and broaden the view of landscape architecture, while at the same time being able to exchange experiences in new ways and through new techniques. By co-hosting with AAK, Kenya, we want to open the political and economic boundaries that still stand in the way of an equal and democratic global development.
As landscape architects in two continents, Kenyan and Swedish professionals meet different challenges. Which urgent issues do you both have to deal with?
Ruth: In world that is facing multiple challenges that include climate change, rapid urbanisation, biodiversity loss among others, landscape architects play a crucial role in providing solutions to these challenges. One of the challenges that result from rapid urbanisation is inadequate access to quality public spaces. Landscape architects need to play an advocacy as well as a planning role to ensure that these spaces are provided. Finally public awareness on the role of the profession is lacking with many of the opinion that the profession is synonymous to beautification. By hosting the congress in Kenya, AAK will use the opportunity to increase public awareness for the profession as well as rope in policy makers with the sector on the need for landscape architects in the public sector.
The theme of the congress is “emergent interaction”. As a participant, how does the event give me tools for better collaboration?
Johanna: The whole congress will be focusing on ways to work together, sharing experiences, good examples and innovative ideas around the subject of interdisciplinary work and collaborations across borders. The theme has also been deepened with three sub-themes, that aim to catalyse concrete disucssions and examples on and around the idea of collaboration. The participants also play an important part in contributing to the discussions and making the congress successful through sharing experiences and ideas.
What action do you wish that the participants take after the congress?
Ruth: The participants should become change agents for the the climate crisis by ensuring that their future projects do not contribute to further environmental degradation and assess past projects for possible improvements. Additionally, the participants should become advocates for inter displinary approaches to creation of sustainable built environment solutions for our planet.
Name one or two things that you especially look forward to during the event!
Johanna: I think great things happen when great people gather in the same place, so I am mostly looking forward to having guests from near and from afar coming together to listen, inspire and share their knowledge. And as for the program, it is really hard to choose one thing, but the mix of interesting key notes streamed between Kenya and Sweden will be very exciting! And of course the party will be something really special and fun!
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