Setting the stage for the IFLA World Congress

Next week landscape architects from around the globe will converge on Singapore for the 55th International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress. This year the event examines how landscape architecture that enhances the attractiveness, liveability, and sustainability of environments, can inspire future urban designs to be more meaningfully connected to nature while bridging social connections and reinforcing community resilience. It’ll explore innovative ideas for landscape research, planning and design through three key areas: biophilia, data and resilience.

Landscape architecture plays in important role in increasing resilience within cities. LA’s are required to work beyond their disciplines with other experts, to develop concepts, frameworks and tools to overcome the loss in biodiversity and inundation, as well as to lessen the impact of compromised critical infrastructure and environmental damage. Boffa Miskell’s Rachel de Lambert will speak to this, providing insights on the Christchurch Blueprint and post-earthquake Christchurch.

 Fireworks over Marina Bay in Singapore - the venue for the 2018 IFLA World Congress. 

Fireworks over Marina Bay in Singapore - the venue for the 2018 IFLA World Congress. 

The congress will examine the concept of biophilia, and what constitutes a truly biophilic city. Among the speakers is Professor Peter Edwards, principal investigator at the Future Cities Laboratory in Switzerland. He’ll present case studies on how a city can place nature first in its design, planning and management, and explore the environmental and economic values of infusing nature into our urban environment.

Delegates will also discuss the relevance of landscape architecture in a digitalised society through urban design and the adoption of technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, and look at how the information can offer practical solutions to address climate change and urbanisation. Dr. Conrad Phillip from Singapore-ETH Centre, Cooling Singapore, will explain how scientific applications help to cool the island state. Dutch artist, creative thinker and maker of social designs, Daan Roosegaarde will explore the social role of design through his vision for a better global future.

 One of the issues up for discussion at the IFLA World Congress will be how to cool Singapore.

One of the issues up for discussion at the IFLA World Congress will be how to cool Singapore.

The congress was last held in Singapore 17 years ago. It’s been jointly organised by IFLA, the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) and SingEx Exhibitions. Commenting on the event’s return to Singapore, Ronnie Tan, president of the SILA said: “We are extremely honoured to be accorded the opportunity to once again host the annual event. Building on the success of the first congress held in Singapore in 2001, the 55th edition will further explore how landscape architecture can contribute to the development of attractive, liveable, equitable, and sustainable environments of the future. This year’s conference, in addition to the international line-up of industry experts and thought leaders, will also feature exclusive content tailored to meet the unique needs of the Asian community.”

 Around a thousand people are expected to attend the IFLA World Congress in SIngapore.

Around a thousand people are expected to attend the IFLA World Congress in SIngapore.

Kenneth Er, CEO of National Parks Board (NParks), which is an organising partner of the congress, says: “Singapore is widely recognised as one of the greenest cities in the world. Its transformation from unsanitary port city to a ‘City in a Garden’ was a result of pragmatic thinking by her forefathers coupled with clear direction on our greening efforts. Today, we have established ourselves as a biophilic city, but there’s still work to be done. Being a biophilic city goes beyond just having nature in the built environment. We now need to work on enlisting the communities to become stewards of nature. This can only happen if people love our green spaces, which we are continually working towards by designing such spaces to cater to a variety of lifestyle needs and interests.”

Around a thousand people are expected to attend the four day event which begins on July 18 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore. It’s being held in conjunction with the Singapore Garden Festival.

 The IFLA World Congress is being held in conjunction with the Singapore Garden Festival.

The IFLA World Congress is being held in conjunction with the Singapore Garden Festival.