Landscapes - Fall 2015 - (Page 74)

THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN ROBERT SCHÄFER WHERE CANADIANS LIVE Canada is even more urban than many European countries. | Le Canada est même plus urbanisé que bien des pays d'Europe. >FR_ LP+ OÙ VIVENT LES CANADIENS EN_ TO MOST EUROPEANS, like me, Canada is a large-scale projection screen. What is the picture we hold in our minds? What do we see when we study the maps? A huge nation covering quite a big portion of the globe's surface, some dots representing cities, a vast and dominant wildernes with lakes, swamps, mountains, forests and wildlife. We should understand, however, that Canada is even more urban than many European countries. According to Statistics Canada's 2011 census of population centres, 80 per cent of the Canadian population live in urban areas. In sparsely populated Newfoundland, 59 per cent live in urban centres, and even in the Northwest Territories (including Nunavut), 54 per cent are kind of urban. The 2015 Awards of Excellence of the CSLA do not pay tribute to these statistics. This year, out of the 84 entries submitted, only a very small percentage covered urban design issues. This is a significant problem for the profession, and from my perspective as a first time guest adjudicator, it is most probably the problem for Canadian landscape architecture. As we know, the disciplines of Landscape Architecture and Landscape Planning cover a vast array of operations and engagements. Landscape architects are capable of dealing with the major environmental issues we are facing, such as the devastation wreaked by the oil industry and the logging companies, the challenge of sustainable storm water management and the escalating rise of sea levels. JUST OUTSIDE HAMILTON, ONTARIO | EN PÉRIPHÉRIE DE HAMILTON, EN ONTARIO PHOTO RONALD WILLIAMS 74 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES THE TIME IS RIGHT! Landscape architects and their professional body, the CSLA, are obliged to take big steps forward, in order to gain public acceptance and increasingly assume responsibility. If Canadian landscape architects deliver strong projects, do good jobs that demonstrate best practice and intervene in public affairs on all levels, the basic job is done. But the next critical step is communication, together with public relations - and those critical functions belong to the urban context. Here, the majority of Canadians reside; here, the movers and the shakers work and live. I do not understand why there were so few submissions to the CSLA Awards of Excellence which reflected this reality. Why did we not see significantly more interest in the public realm, in urban design, in open space planning? Green infrastructure, climate change, water management, resilience - these are key words for the creation of liveable environments in the population centres, whether big or small. Exemplary initiatives no doubt exist in this country, and many deserve to be honoured and to be published. The Awards raise awareness both of the nature of our biggest problems and their solutions, and not insignificantly, they are an instrument to promote the profession. The CSLA is about to re-write the Awards specifications, which is a good start. I sincerely hope that the 2016 Awards of Excellence will bear witness to the needs of the people in Canadian cities. This is what counts in the end, not the flattered egos of CSLA members who receive one of thirty awards or merits. robert.e.schafer@gmx.de

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Fall 2015

TO BEGIN WITH
WRITERS
AAPQ: 50 ANS DE CREATION
UPFRONT
EXCELLENCE 2015
NATIONAL HONOUR
NATIONAL MERIT
THE REGIONALS
ADJUDICATION
LACF-PRESENTS
GUELPH’S EVOLUTION
BEE HABITAT
LACF FUNDED RESEARCH: A CRITIQUE
THE LAST WORD

Landscapes - Fall 2015

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