The 2016 IFLA World Congress

Technical tour at Parco Dora, Turin image: Chih-Wei GV Chang
Technical tour at Parco Dora, Turin
image: Chih-Wei GV Chang

This year’s International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress took place April 20-22 in Turin, Italy. The congress theme, ‘Tasting the Landscape,’ included four sub-topics: Sharing Landscapes, on food production in urban areas; Connected Landscapes, on creating new economies; Layered Landscapes, focusing on stratified landscapes and innovative practices for preserving history; and Inspiring Landscapes. Each sub-topic included keynotes, extended speeches, PechaKucha presentations, poster sessions, and text sessions to allow attendees to present and interact.

‘Tasting the Landscape’ is a fascinating and complex theme which is relevant across cultures, territories, cultivations, and people. All these aspects make every site distinctive, simple and complex at the same time, and require specific and thoughtful intervention. ‘Tasting the Landscape’ is intended as an invitation and a call to nourish and taste, as well as to take part in the making of the landscape of our planet. This agenda requires knowledge and dedication, together with a shared commitment to participate in its completion.

Engaging the audience in keynote speech image: AIAPP
Engaging the audience in keynote speech
image: AIAPP

‘Tasting the Landscape’ is meant to be an operational version of the European Landscape Convention, which was signed in Italy in 2000. This is a clear statement which emphasizes that the landscape—”whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”—is an important part of the quality of life for people everywhere.

At the conclusion of the Congress, a new statement on this theme was issued, entitled “Manifesto for a Landscape Project for Equal and Sustainable Development” and highlighting five key points: centrality of the landscape, disseminating a culture of possible transformations, education, the profession, and implementing the European Landscape Convention. The document has been approved by Anna Letizia Monti, President of the Associazione Italiana di Architettura del Paesaggio (AIAPP), together with Kathryn Moore, IFLA President, and is now being shared on, with the goal to have 1,000 people sign up in support.

The 2016 Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award goes to Peter Latz image: AIAPP
The 2016 Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award goes to Peter Latz
image: AIAPP

In addition, the Call for Proposals is now open for the 2017 World Design Summit and IFLA World Congress, to be held October 16-25, 2017 in Montréal. Friday, July 29, 2016 is the submission deadline for presentation proposals by professionals and session proposals by academics.

by Chih-Wei G.V. Chang, ASLA, EWRI, LEED-AP. He is an Associate of SWA Group, lecturer in Academy of Art University of San Francisco, and co-chair of International Practice PPN.

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