From World over Web to Re-election

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Advisory board meeting and annual conference of the bdla on 7 April 2017 in Erfurt. Adoption of the Erfurt Declaration on Green Infrastructure in Town and Country.

At a site rich in tradition, namely the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, where Martin Luther read his first mass on 2 May 1507, the chairman of bdla Thuringia Werner Alkewitz welcomed members of the bdla executive committee, specialist speakers and regional group chairmen to the annual conference on 7 April 2017. bdla President Till Rehwaldt thanked for the invitation to the "green heart of Germany" and highlighted the activities of the bdla on green infrastructure in his report on the association year 2016.

The bdla campaign launched in 2014 experienced another professional highlight with the "Kick off Green Infrastructure" conference from 12 to 14 October 2016 in the Green Capital Essen and contributed significantly to the profession's positioning in the process of the creation and formulation of the White Paper "Green in the City" by the Federal Government. "For the first time, urban greenery receives the necessary political appreciation it deserves for the future viability of our cities. (...) The unique health, cultural-aesthetic, social, economic and integrative functions of the urban green are represented in essential parts", the bdla president emphasized. The fact that in the budget of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety an independent title "Zukunft Stadtgrün" (Future of Urban Greenery) with a total of 50 million euros has been allocated is, in his opinion, also due to the great commitment of the green associations, which used political as well as professional stages equally for their information offensive on urban greenery. This year, as in the coming years, the debate on the White Paper presented in May 2017 and the implementation of the measures by a newly elected federal government will be the programmatic focus in the association.

Raising its professional profile nationally and internationally
Total membership has increased since last year from 1,258 to 1,280, a 1.7 per cent increase. The number of freelance members rose from 656 to 684, which is 4.3 percent, as reported by Ingeborg Paland, Federal Managing Director. Unchallenged the winning of new members and the stabilization of the new generation work remain central request of and in the bdla. Thus it was decided to support the commitment of the federal professional association landscape for the execution of the annual "student conference landscape LASKO" durably monetarily and personnel. A desired side effect is the sensitization of the students for their future work and for "their" professional association.

In order to further professionalise the work of the association and to strengthen the international reputation of German landscape architects at IFLA Europe and IFLA World, the members of the advisory board voted unanimously for the establishment of an international working group under the leadership of the spokesperson for international cooperation, currently Prof. Fritz Auweck.

There is also support for the Federal Chamber of Architects to become a full member of IFLA and IFLA Europe from 2018 as the successor to bdla.

Public relations
The various activities of the bdla regional groups in their public relations work, in 2017 between Hamburg and Munich, Frankfurt/Main and Apolda again oriented to the association campaign on green infrastructure, are subsidised with 20,000 euros from the bdla Federation.

One of the important instruments of the association's public relations work, both internally and externally, is the website. It was decided to visually and functionally revise the web presence of the bdla association and the regional groups by 2018, while continuing and optimising the integrated web solution of the association and the regional groups.

After the approval of the 2016 budget and the 2017/2018 budget and the unanimous discharge of the presidium and federal management, re-elections were on the agenda.

The bdla President Till Rehwaldt, landscape architect bdla in Dresden, who has been in office since 2014, and the Vice Presidents Irene Burkhardt, landscape architect bdla in Munich, and Stephan Lenzen, landscape architect bdla in Bonn, were confirmed in their offices.

There were also re-elections for the bdla spokespersons. Markus Gnüchtel was elected as spokesperson for garden art and garden culture, Jutta Sankowski as spokesperson for public relations, Prof. Ulrike Böhm as spokesperson for urban development and open space planning, and Andrea Ziegenrücker as spokesperson for competition.

Erfurt Declaration on Green Infrastructure in Town and Country
The subsequent annual conference was devoted to an exchange of ideas on the subject of "Green Infrastructure in Town and Country".
"Agriculture/rural areas and green infrastructure" was the title of Dr. Robert Kloos' input, General Manager of the Federal Association of Garden, Landscape and Sports Ground Construction BGL. Against the background of his many years of work in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, he explained, among other things, the structures and developments of funding policy at European level.
The head of the branch office of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation Matthias Herbert, Department of Nature and Landscape in Planning and Projects, Renewable Energies, Leipzig, related nature conservation and green infrastructure in his presentation. The Federal Green Infrastructure Concept, drawn up by the BfN, is a spatially overarching overall concept, with the help of which the existing specialist concepts and guiding principles of nature conservation and landscape management can be incorporated into federally relevant planning processes, such as floodplain development, federal transport route planning, reconnection and federal grid expansion.

As a result of the comprehensive discussion, the bdla advisory board adopted an Erfurt Declaration "Green Infrastructure in Town and Country - for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development". It states that green structures and landscape areas are increasingly burdened by urban densification and more diverse demands for use of open space and landscape. "In addition to strengthening inner-city open spaces, targeted urban-rural development can counteract this pressure and strengthen social, ecological and cultural qualities by developing new linkages. The green infrastructure strategy in particular has great potential for this." Only by setting a fundamental structural and financial course in interdepartmental cooperation at federal, state and local level "will it be possible to translate the green infrastructure strategy into a noticeable improvement in the quality of open space".

Advisory Board Meeting and Annual Conference 2018
At the end of the meeting day, Till Rehwaldt thanked everyone for their comprehensive commitment to the interests of the profession and the association as well as their constructive contribution to the meeting. Further thanks were extended to Andrea Ziegenrücker, Werner Alkewitz and Philipp Facius from the host bdla Thuringia and bdla Bavaria, on whose behalf the state group chair Marion Linke invited the advisory board to its annual meeting in Würzburg on 20 and 21 April 2018.

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