I spent this past week in Liverpool attending the 2010 UK Landscape Conference, the annual event for Landscape Institute, where I had been invited to give a keynote address. In all honesty, I came to this event with the expectation that it would be very similar to an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) annual conference, but unlike ASLA, landscape architects did not make up the strong majority of attendees. There was a significant number public-sector officials and prominent politicians – both as speakers and guests. During the event, the Landscape Institute Awards were announced and a healthy portion of the finalists were community groups that knitted together to take on projects – mostly preservation. Perhaps because of the nation’s long history or maybe because it’s an island nation, but the UK has a stronger appreciation for landscape than we have in the US. This left me feeling hopeful about the future state of landscape architecture.
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