The International Landscape Convention and Latin American Landscape Initiative
The sustainability of an urban environment can only be understood regarding the interaction of all natural, cultural and economic factors that integrate the urban landscape.
Therefore all urban processes occur in the Urban Landscape. This landscape approach (looking at the city like a living system with interactive complex functions), allows a holistic understanding of urban processes, which is the basis for sustainable planning and decision making.
The landscapes of daily life are constantly being eroded. Across the world communities are feeling the impact of industrialization, urbanization, the search for energy, demographic shifts and changing patterns of work and habitation, as well as climate change, the depletion of natural resources, de/forestation, problems relating to food production, biodiversity, heritage, a host of issues relating to the quality of life and other aspects of land use change and development.
Traditional approaches to transportation have contributed to the creation of suburban developments where greenhouse gas emissions, loss of greenery. Regular planning cannot guarantee the environmental quality of these new urban systems and open spaces.
Thinking differently about issues such as auto dependence, fuel sources, transportation, infrastructure, and land use planning is critical to find strategic solutions. The practice is at the forefront of working collaboratively to develop sustainable strategies for new and regenerating cities.
A Sustainable Urban Landscape integrates the concepts of sustainability, ecology, territory, sustainable management of resources, specially water, efficient (of) mobility (and waters), renewable energy, ecological footprint, environmental planning principles, culture and history of the city and of the territory, urban agriculture, etc.
Therefore the purpose for the International Landscape Convention and the Latin American Landscape Initiative stimulates a more integrated, democratic approach that establishes the landscape as a holistic tool for planning, managing and creating sustainable development.
Rather than being an enforceable tool, it was agreed that the convention should:
offer inspiration through principles and guidelines;
encourage work across established institutional, geographical and disciplinary boundaries;
share and rewarding good practice; and
deal with the whole space, the rural and the urban, wilderness and man-made, the most valuable as well as the unloved and degraded
Recognising that different cultures have different ideas about the landscape, a convention will be comprehensive and overarching yet flexible, encouraging national, regional and local interpretation and application. The idea will empower communities and people who are concerned with economy, health, and sustainability of their culture and environment.
The urgent need for an international convention will capitalize on the intense interest in this proposal from across the world, and will give leadership, complement and reinforce the bottom up approach which has led to existing and proposed landscape charters in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Peru ( which have become a Latin-American initiative LALI), national charters in Australia and New Zealand, regional charters in The Mediterranean, West Africa, East Africa and South Africa, and the European Landscape Convention (signed by 39 nation states).