Directors Message - 12 April 2021

Claire Martin, AILA National President 

April is World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM). Established by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), WLAM is a month-long international celebration of landscape architecture and designed public and private spaces. And it is great to start the month feeling energised by the extent of collaboration that we are witnessing and participating in across the country, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world.

Some of the key activities include:

  • In the context of this year’s COP26 in Glasgow Pamela Conrad is facilitating the preparation of a declaration championed and drafted by AILA, ASLA, the Landscape Institute and the Landscape Architecture Foundation alongside climate advocates like Martha Schwartz
  • Professor in Practice at the Harvard University GSD and the IFLA World President James Hayter, which will be taken to IFLA for ratification and promotion to the seventy-seven member associations.
  • The declaration may then form part of a presentation to be given by Architecture 2030 CEO Ed Mazria within the Blue Zone of COP26 in Glasgow.
  • We are also looking to maximise other opportunities to raise the profile of landscape architecture through the COP26 program through three of the Landscape Institute’s independent bid opportunities.
  • As well as a separate COP26 presentation bid, pitched by Kotchakorn Voraakhom in her role as the IFLA Climate Change Working Group Chair, which will include AILA if the pitch is successful.
  • Similarly, we are working with our international colleagues to identify further IFLA and ICUN regional event opportunities in the context of the COP26 declaration.
  • A joint President and CEO meeting will shortly be held with the Landscape Institute to further collaboration with our UK allies.
  • We are also identifying opportunities for speakers on the topics of Heat, Sea-Level Rise, and Biodiversity across the globe. Please let me know (via AILA) if you have expertise in this area and have case studies, research, or projects you would like to share. 
  • Please take time to complete the IFLA APR survey which is seeking to develop communities of practice across the region to foster collaboration: IFLA Survey.
  • AILA is collaborating with the WWF on the formation of the Materials & Embodied Carbon Leaders Alliance as a founding partner which will more formally announce and promote soon.
  • Building on the publication of The Big Asian Book of Landscape Architecture AILA facilitated a discussion, as part of Melbourne Design Week and a collaboration between RMIT University and Singaporean office Salad Dressing ‘After Landscape x Rewilding the Sky’. Building on the addition of the Education pillar in our Strategic Plan. AILA is committed to supporting Australia’s landscape architecture programs, and our student and academic communities. 
  • AILA’s support of the Australian landscape architecture programs.
  • A new collaboration in Queensland will help to support AILA’s campaign for QIBCC recognition of landscape architecture in the short and long term through further recognition of the term Registered Landscape Architect (trademarked by AILA) and potential regulation and longer terms legislation change to ensure landscape architects can legally undertake contract administration in that State.
  • A member and working group collaboration facilitated the AILA’s International Women’s Day initiative profiling Australian and International women in landscape architecture. Thanks to everyone who participate and who volunteered their time to make that happen it is a great resource and achievement. You can check out all the profiles here: AILA IWD web page.
  • We will shortly announce our new National Connection to Country Committee (C2C) with new collaborations between AILA members and four Cultural Ambassadors and the opportunity to improve collaboration between C2Cs across the country.
  • Please register for our next May Member Connect event to hear from your peers about ways to get involved in AILA Chapter Executives and Committees what they have learnt and how they have benefited from their involvement with AILA. 
The AILA board and AILA staff will continue to identify ways to collaborate with our members across the country to build our capacity and reach.

Claire Martin,
AILA National President