Gap. Problem. Difference. Limitation. Interruption. Hole.
Divergence. Emptiness. Disparity. Conflict. Disruption.
This is a small sample of the symptoms that our landscapes are suffering nowadays due to the worlds continually change and reconfiguration. The concept of landscape has changed considerably over the past decades.
Interaction with landscapes is now a reality for everyone, users and space-makers alike. While the concept of landscape was traditionally attached to sites of exceptional quality, today’ landscape is virtually synonymous with our built and natural environments, in which we live our daily lives. It’s with those landscapes, whether urban or rural, that we rely upon to improve the quality for everyone.
The future of cities is a critical issue to today’s lifestyle. Now that more than half of the world’s population is urban, cities have transformations and decreasing the quality of life. Like living organisms, cities change: they grow and shrink, they flourish and decline.
The aim of this congress is for academics and professionals to share knowledge about how city space is created by the intertwining of various spheres. From such interaction with city environments, gaps in urban structure and urban life will appear and by exploring and understanding them, we are better prepared to create appropriate and unique environments in our cities – quality of life/quality of living.
Gaps are omnipresent, from those in our minds to those in physical space. These gaps affect us in many ways, big and small, from education to such international matters as the financial turmoil. “Mind the gap”, suggests that we must acknowledge the ‘gaps’ and also means that we must find new ways to understand the evolution of our cities and current urban conditions.
This congress will provide the opportunity for landscape architects and other professionals of related fields, from all over the world, to exchange points of view and share experience and solutions to achieve new landscapes, to improve our quality of life, and to define new ways of living.
The congress will take place in the undiscovered jewel of the Baltic Sea – Estonia. Geographically located in the north-eastern edge of the European Union, Estonia is very rich in natural landscapes, having almost half of its territory covered by forest. However being a small country, but the richness and diversity of its landscapes is positively surprising. The medieval capital of Tallinn has the perfect conditions to host our congress where everyone will have the opportunity to explore new landscapes and lives with a different twist, enjoying at the same time the European Capital of Culture 2011.
New lives need new landscapes and new landscapes create new lives. How will our landscapes look like if we do not find solutions for our gaps? What will our future landscapes look like if we ignore the gaps which affect our environments and lives? Should we begin from the small or large gaps and in what direction will one or the other push us?
These are the questions for which will seek answers in the congress. Landscape Architecture must be forward-thinking and must both reach to and lead these dynamics of urban development. The profession must re-invigorate itself to produce the unique ideas that produce compelling change, because the main outcome is to create a pleasing and enjoyable space for society to use.