Varsity Hosts 4th IFLA Africa Symposium

Dr. Kidero (Center) and Githinji (Right) confer on a point. Looking on is Prof. Moore

Dr. Kidero (Center) and Githinji (Right) confer on a point. Looking on is Prof. Moore

A three-day symposium premeditated to promote professional excellence and integrity in both built and natural environments ends Friday, October 16, 2015. The symposium seeks to demystify Landscape Architecture and the role it plays in solving challenges encountered through flooding, loss of habitat, changing ecology and global warming.

The symposium which attracted over 200 participants from the United State of America, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Netherlands and Italy, is jointly organised by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Architectural Association of Kenya, affiliated with the International Federation of Landscape Architect (IFLA).

In observance of this year’s theme: Resilience: Role of Landscape Architecture in Urban Areas of Emerging Economies, the participants will learn from various works by landscape architects in Africa and around the world and expand the conversation to future interventions.

Participants interact with each other during the Symposium

Participants interact with each other during the Symposium

Speaking during the opening of the symposium, Nairobi County Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero acknowledged that landscape architecture plays an important role in adapting the build environment to the present and future, especially when it comes to confronting the growing social, political and economic concern over the use of natural resources and the development of sustainable communities.

Dr. Kidero challenged the participants to engage with each other and delve into the intricacies of landscape architecture as a tool for urban renewal, conservation and restoration of biodiversity, realization of green infrastructure as well as improvement of public health and sanitation.

Echoing the words of the Governor, the President of the International Federation of Landscape Architect (IFLA) Prof. Kathryn Moore said, it was a high time that countries used Landscape Architecture to improve the faces and structures of their cities. “For landscape architecture to achieve its desired effect,” she emphasized, “the actors needed to employ a multi-disciplinary approach that would involve policy makers, manufacturers, real estate developers, financial institutions and government official.”

A section of the participants following proceedings during the Symposium

A section of the participants following proceedings during the Symposium

In his remarks, the President of the Architectural Association of Kenya, Architect Waweru Gachecha acknowledged that landscape architecture in the country had grown in magnitude and stature and hoped the on-going symposium would provide a perfect platform to begin the conversation as to what the true role of landscape architecture is within the continent and Kenya in particular.

Others who addressed the gathering were President IFLA-Africa, Prof. Tunji Adejumo, Chair of Landscape Architecture (JKUAT), Dr. Esther Katile, and Dean School Architecture and Building Sciences (JKUAT), Dr. Susan Kibue. Also present was the Kiambu Deputy Governor, Mr. Gerald Githinji.

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