It's a wrap - 2018 NZILA Firth Conference

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Last week’s NZILA Firth conference in Auckland featured a diverse range of speakers with experience in everything from small budget miniparks for beer drinkers through to the Atlanta Beltway, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects in the United States.

Opening speaker, Dr Julian Bolleter from the University of Western Australia, set the conference up with a lecture on climate change and population growth, underlining the crucial role landscape architects must play in the future of the world’s cities.

 The 2018 NZILA Firth Conference started with a walking tour of Wynyard Quarter.

The 2018 NZILA Firth Conference started with a walking tour of Wynyard Quarter.

Louise Bailey, who’s the chair of the Canterbury/Westland branch of the NZILA, said it was interesting to hear how overseas landscape architects approached projects with a range of scales much greater than what’s experienced in New Zealand. 

Bailey also said including speakers like environmental health specialist, Dr Alex Macmillian from Otago University, offered a valuable perspective of environment from a health point of view.

 Henry Crothers (LandLAB) talks to delegates on the walking tour of Wynyard Quarter.

Henry Crothers (LandLAB) talks to delegates on the walking tour of Wynyard Quarter.

And while the lineup of speakers is largely what attracts people to a conference - “it’s important that we gain something from it in terms of improving our own work” - Bailey says it’s great to catch up with your peers. “Because we are such a small profession a lot of us know each other across the country. There’s a lot of camaraderie. As much as possible we try to work with each other rather than against each other, although there’s still competition as well.

 Conference dinner held at Shed 10 - with food trucks and street entertainment bringing the big space to life.

Conference dinner held at Shed 10 - with food trucks and street entertainment bringing the big space to life.

“Conferences are important because you get to see other people doing different projects and realise what a small family we are.”

See more photos from the conference.

We will be featuring the full presentations from a selection of the speakers over coming days. Below is the first - Bart Brands, founder and director of Karres + Brands in the Netherlands.  Bart, seen below on the right with Henry Crothers from sponsor LandLAB.