Young professionals and climate adaptation

bdla in Klausur. Foto: Petra Baum

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New focal points of the bdla's association work for 2020 ff.

Following an intensive discussion process within the association and its committees last year, the Federation of German Landscape Architects has defined its work programme for 2020 onwards. The main topics are "Recruitment of young professionals" and "Climate adaptation and climate protection".

We shape the climate
Under the motto "We shape the climate", the bdla will in future become even more involved in the debate on climate protection and climate adaptation in society as a whole. Open space and landscape planning offer a variety of starting points, from the development of regional and municipal climate protection plans to district-related climate concepts - keyword "Schwammstadt" - to the implementation of concrete structural measures, e.g. rainwater management. Landscape architects are qualified for these tasks like hardly any other profession due to their interdisciplinary training with a broad spectrum of competences.

As an adequate generalist, we should have the courage to put on the 'planning hat'. Because: almost all of the competences of urban resilience are our areas of expertise in detail, but we bring them together all too rarely and in silence.

bdla Vice President Stephan Lenzen

Climate adaptation is closely related to the development of green infrastructure, a topic that has been the focus of planning, lobbying and public relations work in the bdla for several years.

The shortage of skilled workers is also becoming more acute in landscape architecture, so that many positions in planning offices and public administration can no longer be filled or can only be filled with great delay. Presidium and regional groups of the bdla had met on 15 November 2019 for a closed meeting to discuss the possibilities of the bdla and to derive strategies. In the all-day debate, two target groups for the recruitment of new talent were identified. On the one hand, it is important to start with pupils and to advertise there for the study of landscape architecture, currently one of the most exciting professions with diverse development opportunities. The first concrete approach is to ensure that existing study guides and online portals adequately present the study and professional field of landscape architecture. On the other hand, students should be focused on and supported in successfully completing their studies. Unfortunately, every third student currently leaves the university without a degree.

In terms of addressing students, the association, or rather the federal working group on training, has been in continuous exchange with the universities for many years in order to ensure the quality of training. Newly added is the support in the recruitment of foreign junior staff as well as the establishment of English-language Bachelor courses of studies. The contact to the federal landscape students' association and the participation in the annual landscape students' conference are to be expanded. In addition, the bdla has set itself the task of expanding and optimising and the "Study/Career" pages.

Another component of the promotion of young talent is already the Young Landscape Architects Working Group, which was founded in 2018. Headed by Franz Reschke, Franz Reschke Landscape Architects, Berlin, the aim is to support young office founders, among other things through further training courses on business basics, ways into self-employment, VgV training and the like. The so-called "Founders' Forum" is currently being launched, an online "meeting place" on for networking, knowledge transfer and - planned - dialogue with mentors. Last but not least, the Young Landscape Architecture Workshop will take place on 2 March 2020 on questions of office foundation and self-employment.

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