Thoughts on Advent: O thou merry, O thou blessed...?!

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During the Advent season, we not only prepare for Christmas, but also find some time to reflect.
What impressions did the end of the year leave behind, where are we as a profession right now and where is our path leading us? Dr. Johannes Gnädinger, Chairman of bdla Bavaria, reflected on this on the first day of Advent.

© Annie Spratt / Unsplash

© Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Dear colleagues in bdla Bavaria,

When I first heard about upcoming Christmas parties in November, my inner reaction was as if I had overlooked it.

Why? Because for me, the (pre-)Christmas season is only acceptable when it's here. Before then, thoughts about it are rather strange and don't really fit in with the feeling of life that prevails throughout the year. However, I probably also deliberately ignored the instructions because I suddenly realized what still needs to be done before Christmas.

For the first Advent, I once again tied our Advent wreath with fresh, mixed evergreen branches. A primal scent, stimulating and invigorating. It's a different sensory experience to the stars, angels and Santas in the analog and digital Christmas worlds.

Evergreen stands for hope. For peace, first and foremost.

That life will finally prevail ... not death. Senseless deaths in Ukraine, in the Middle East, in conflict zones elsewhere. Uncertainty, confusion here and there, also pushed in social media. This year has been special at times.

The fact that life is finally asserting itself ... not destruction. We are also thinking about the landscape, the environment that sustains us and on which we all completely depend. Which in many cases is not in good condition, climatically, ecologically, aesthetically. But we still have exciting ideas for it and are now increasingly developing, discussing and implementing new planning approaches: Green infrastructure, sponge city, biodiversity, nature-based approaches, energy transition in harmony with nature, road reconstruction and much more.

We landscape architects are on the right track here. By the way - take note! - together with the architects and engineers who have also set out to build in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and sustainable way. So we are not the only ones crying in the wilderness. The initiative Ways to a better LEP (state development program) shows this very impressively. Of course, we need to keep making ourselves heard by politicians and simply not let up.

We have recently launched an interdisciplinary discussion series with the LAtalks salon talks entitled "Green at any price (?)". We are discussing how climate adaptation and a better quality of life can be implemented and learning what is important to others in order to achieve coordinated, appropriate and measurable results.

I think - and I hope you see it this way too: we have an ambitious agenda and a clear goal in mind. Our contributions are very relevant, they are really needed today and tomorrow and we want to implement them. This is what the bdla stands for, also in Bavaria.

We look forward to an exciting program in 2024 and to your cooperation!

We, the entire Executive Board, wish you and your families a peaceful Advent season, a merry, inspiring Christmas and a happy New Year!

Yours sincerely

Johannes Gnädinger
with Swantje Duthweiler, Oliver Engelmayer, Doris Grabner, Nicole M. Maier, Peter Timar, Jakob Auer, Elisabeth Auer, Ulrich S. Knoll

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