This year's conference has among its themes the work of Jan Amos Komenský. Credit: MENDELU.

Conference of Landscape Architects Focuses on The Global Challenges of Today’s World

This weekend, 10-13 September, Brno will host the 2023 conference of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS), entitled “Labyrinth of the World – Landscape Crossroads”. The conference is organised by the Faculty of Horticulture at Mendel University (ZF MENDELU), in cooperation with the association of universities represented by ECLAS.

The international conference will bring a discussion about current global changes and their impact on landscape architecture and environment creation. As the main topics, landscape architects will address not only the impact of climate change on life in the city and the countryside, but also water management, biodiversity support, community strengthening, and public involvement in the planning and implementation of landscape improvements.

This year’s conference has among its themes the work of Jan Amos Komenský. The title of the conference paraphrases Komenský’s ‘Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart’, which he completed 400 years ago. 

“The chaotic world he depicted in it really exists,” said Alena Salašová from the Institute of Landscape Planning at ZF MENDELU. “Changes on Earth are becoming faster and more intense. Some affect us globally, others very locally. In this period, the words imbalance and uncertainty resonate more and more within us. We have no idea how global events will develop. But we know that landscape architecture, in cooperation with related disciplines, is able to offer unique ideas, key solutions, and effective innovations. It is indispensable for a high-quality life in a common space.” 

The ECLAS conference is the second most important world forum of landscape architects, and is being held in the Czech Republic for the first time. “The theme of this year’s conference, which is focused on the discussion of the main professional dilemmas regarding the direction of further education and research in the field of landscape architecture and environmental creation, is also significant,” said Salašová. “We are increasingly confronted with global changes and threats: climate change with consequences such as extreme drought, fires, floods, tornadoes, pandemics, migration, loss of freedom, and so on.” 

The keynote speakers will be Kristina Hill, Philipp RW Urech and Tomáš Jiránek, all of them leading experts in the field of landscape architecture. “Their work reflects contemporary trends in landscape architecture and the formation of settlements and landscapes,” said Salašová. The conference is open to students, research and academic staff of universities, as well as the wider professional community, representatives of state institutions, professional associations and organisations.

The conference will be attended by representatives of universities from thirty countries around the world, including the University of California Berkeley. The patrons of the conference are the MENDELU Rectorate, the Czech Ministries of the Environment and Regional Development, the Czech Chamber of Architects, and the Mayor of Brno. The conference is financially supported by the City of Brno.

Conference of Landscape Architects Focuses on The Global Challenges of Today’s World
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