Conference: ‘Landscape10: The Power of Landscape’

Landscape10: The Power of Landscape

The landscape shapes our lives and our culture. It generates powerful feelings within us – feelings that easily ignite into controversy and debate.

We shape the landscape and find ourselves doing so with increasingly far-reaching and possibly irrevocable consequences. We seek to control the landscape through legislation, economic imperatives and other tools, yet how effective are those tools and to what extent are people able to influence what happens to the places they feel strongly about?

‘Landscape10: The Power of Landscape’ is the focus of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects 2010 Conference being held in Wellington between 15-17 April. Speakers will explore the inherent tension between the extraordinary power that landscape exerts on us and our increasing ability to change and to reshape it at every scale.

The conference is aimed at stimulating fresh thinking in dealing with contentious landscape issues.

Expressing the tensions

Tensions frequently flare over landscape issues throughout New Zealand. What are the perspectives and experiences in dealing with those tensions for people in affected communities, for developers and for the design, planning and other professions?

Furthermore, expectations and demands on our landscapes are changing as people, communities and government respond to environmental and economic pressures. What new kind of landscapes are being advocated and what are the implications for debate and controversy?

Finding our limits

The landscape contributes to human well-being in numerous ways, but there are limits. Finding those limits and working within them is a matter of increasing urgency - whether addressing the effects of climate change, demands on water resources, questions of cumulative landscape change or trends towards urban intensification. To what extent are the limits being imposed by natural processes in the landscape and to what extent are they the coming from communities as they voice their feelings and concerns about landscape change and a loss of inherent character and quality?

Towards resolutions

Empowering people to participate and be heard is proving increasingly effective in resolving landscape issues and assisting factions to find common ground. Social scientists are increasingly involved, and innovative approaches to participation in both planning and design processes are being put into action. There is a need to ensure that the companies and organisations who seek to introduce or impose development on our landscape realise the benefits of finding suitable resolutions and not rely on, or resort to, adversarial methods. What are the ways and means to achieve this? How successful are they? What are the alternatives?
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