Landscape architects - We design climate

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Advisory board of the bdla met on 13.11.2020.
Focal points of the association's work and elections

This year's advisory board meeting of the bdla took place on 13 November 2020. Due to Corona, it had to be held online; all presidium members, regional group chairpersons and expert speakers were connected. Till Rehwaldt, bdla president, and bdla national managing director Mario Kahl informed about association activities in 2019 and 2020. Key points of the full-time and voluntary commitment in the association were green infrastructure and climate adaptation as well as the recruitment and promotion of young professionals.

The current pandemic situation highlights the importance of open space and landscape, accompanied by the need to think, plan, finance and implement development, maintenance and protection. Blue-green infrastructures not only serve climate adaptation in cities, but also increase the overall environmental and quality of life in urban areas. The restructuring of urban development funding is interesting in this context. In future, this will be concentrated on the three programmes "Living Centres", "Social Cohesion" and "Growth and Sustainable Renewal", endowed with 790 million euros. The bdla welcomes the fact that "climate protection measures or measures to adapt to climate change, in particular by improving the green infrastructure (for example, the urban green space)" are anchored in the funding requirements of all three programmes.

The core competencies of landscape architects include the climate-resilient conversion of cities and regions as well as the sustainable implementation of the energy transition and environmentally friendly land use concepts. Following on from this, the advisory board of the bdla decided to "initiate" a comprehensive concept for the association under the brand "We design climate", starting with an extensive campaign to recruit/promote young talent, through further training on climate adaptation, to securing social acceptance of landscape architects and recognition of their expertise/performance.

The political ability of the federal, state and local governments to act is uncertain due to the lack of specialists in the field of landscape architecture. However, political programmes can only be implemented effectively and sustainably if qualified specialist personnel are available in sufficient numbers in administrations and independent planning offices. "If it is not possible to increase the number of students in a timely manner, the existing shortage of skilled personnel will continue to worsen with a simultaneous increase in the need for skilled personnel and the increasing explosiveness of the tasks," according to the analysis of the bdla. Together with authorities and associations of the green professions, the chambers of architects and engineers as well as the colleges and universities, the deficits are to be identified promptly and a strategy for the promotion of young professionals is to be developed and implemented. The professional association of landscape architects sees the policy together with the other occupation-standing participants requested to work strengthened on the new generation safety device.

Member development
Mario Kahl, since 1 May 2020 federal managing director of the bdla, draws a positive balance of the member development. The total number of members increased during the year, from 1 317 to 1 354 (including juniors). The bdla now represents 729 freelance members. 374 members make up the group of salaried employees and civil servants; this group is growing the most.
The association's high-quality events, at both federal and state level, continued to be a focus and first-hand service in 2019/2020. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the challenge was/is to develop a viable model for online events, transitioning face-to-face events to digital events.

bdla honorary membership and elections
For the award of bdla honorary memberships the presidency and the bdla Bavaria had submitted requests. In each case the requests were accepted unanimously to the honorary membership award to Ingeborg Paland, bdla federal managing director of many years (© manuel frauendorf fotografie), and Peter Latz (© Bastian Barenbrock), for its life work nationally and internationally.

Elections were due in seven offices, which were conducted as postal votes. Re-elected were the president Till Rehwaldt, the vice-presidents Irene Burkhardt and Stephan Lenzen as well as the bdla-speaker for urban development and open space planning Prof. Ulrike Böhm.

Jörg Homann, club L94 landscape architects GmbH from Cologne ran for the office of the speaker economics and was unanimously selected. Jörg Homann (born 1972) learned the profession of a landscape gardener from 1989 to 1992 and began studying landscape architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt in 1994. After finishing, he moved back to North Rhine-Westphalia in 1999 and in 2001, together with Frank Flor, Götz Klose and Burkhard Wegener, he founded the office club L94, based in Cologne. In 2016, he acquired an additional qualification as an expert for architects' fees; Jörg Homann has been a member of the bdla since 2017. With his election, he succeeds Jens Henningsen, who held this office for twelve years and has been treasurer of the bdla since 2019.

In the field of competition, Andrea Ziegenrücker ended her "career" as bdla spokesperson after more than 17 years. Elected was Steffan Robel, A24 Landschaft Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH, Berlin. Born in 1972, he studied landscape planning at the Technical University of Berlin from 1992 to 1999; between 1997 and 1998 he completed the European Master of Landscape Architecture at the International Agricultural Hogeschool in Larenstein, the Netherlands. After three years of freelance work at Weidinger Landscape Architects (2000 to 2003), Steffan Robel founded the office A24 Landschaft in 2004 and ran it from 2005 to 2010 together with the architect Joachim Swillus. Between 2004 and 2008, he was again drawn to teaching at the Technical University of Dresden, as a research assistant in the Landscape Architecture Department. Since 2011 he has been managing director of A24 Landschaft Landschaftsarchitektur; since 2018 with partner Jan Grimmek. Steffan Robel has been a member of the bdla since 2017.

There was another change at the top of the Public Relations Working Group. Petra Schoelkopf, freiraumforum schoelkopf, Hanover, a long-standing member from the working group, succeeded Jutta Sankowski, who filled this post from 2014 to 2020. After training as a perennial gardener at Berggarten Hannover and working for several years in gardening and landscaping, she studied landscape architecture and environmental development at the Technical University of Hannover. From 2001 to 2004 Petra Schoelkopf, born in 1968, worked for Hortec Wörlitz in the development of the state initiative Gartenträume Historische Parks in Saxony-Anhalt. Since 2005 she has been a freelance landscape architect and owner of the office freiraumforum für Landschaftsarchitektur Freiraummarketing in Hanover. Petra Schoelkopf joined the bdla in 1998 as a guest member and has been a full member since 2005. She has been involved in the Lower Saxony Bremen regional group for over ten years as a member of the executive committee and as a speaker in the public relations and garden monument preservation working groups.

bdla president Till Rehwaldt thanks all outgoing speakers for their commitment and wishes all elected, re-elected and acting association representatives successful acting for the professional association and the profession.

The next advisory board meeting will take place at the invitation of the bdla North Rhine-Westphalia in April 2021 at Schloss Dyck.

Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekten bdla
Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg 6, 10179 Berlin
Tel. 030 27 87 15-0, Fax 030 27 87 15-55
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