Landscapes - Fall 2015 - (Page 74)
THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
WHERE CANADIANS LIVE
Canada is even more urban than many
European countries. | Le Canada est même
plus urbanisé que bien des pays d'Europe.
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
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.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Fall 2015
TO BEGIN WITH
AAPQ: 50 ANS DE CREATION
LACF FUNDED RESEARCH: A CRITIQUE
THE LAST WORD
Landscapes - Fall 2015