ELASA in Finland and Estonia

Last May we had the pleasure of being invited to the ELASA meeting in Matera organized by the Italian group.

As the SIP Forum, we follow the work that these young landscape students do during their European meetings. So we asked for a short report on the ELASA meeting held last summer.

As it has every year since 1990, ELASA (European Landscape Architecture Student Association) organized an annual meeting and a mini meeting in which students from all over Europe had the opportunity to work together and exchange ideas.

The ELASA  2019 annual meetingdi was held in Estonia and Finland, from 6 to 17 August. Around 40 students from 15 European countries took part, including three from Italy.

2019 was a year of firsts, not for Estonia which was hosting for the third time (the first was in 2000, the second in 2007), but for Finland (and also for Italy, which hosted the mini meeting in the spring), hosting for the first time since the association’s foundation. It is important to remember that this association, as well as the annual meetings, owes its existence entirely to the enthusiasm and commitment of the students who belong to it, who manage and organize everything themselves.

 The meeting was titled “Finest Landscapes”: a play on words (‘finest’ consists of the first syllables of the names of the host nations FINland and ESTonia); the meeting was designed to trace the threads that hold together the fabric of the landscape, using the tools and the knowledge that every landscape architecture  should know, as well as an invitation to look beyond appearances into the depths of the forest of contrasts, patterns, cultures, to discover the highest qualities of the landscape and those who work with it.

Turning to the various events that were organized during the meeting, many workshops were held and many places visited. Estonia is one of the greenest countries in Europe, with around 50% forest cover, and it proved to be the perfect destination for hikes and explorations of the wildlife, much of which is extinct in most European countries. Tallin, Tartu, Kreenholm, and Narva were the cities that hosted the meeting and the students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge in some very interesting projects, including a workshop to produce ideas and solutions for Tartu’s candidacy as Capital of culture in 2024 (a contest which it has won).

Many locations in Finland were also visited; while the untouched forest landscapes are in some ways very similar to those of Estonia, the Finnish landscapes offer something extra, which is water: indeed around 10% of its surface is covered by lakes.

Further information from: daniele-stefano@hotmail.it

ELASA in Finlandia e in Estonia

Nel maggio scorso abbiamo avuto il piacere di essere invitati alla riunione dell’ELASA a Matera organizzata dal gruppo italiano. Come Forum SIP seguiamo ciò che questi giovani studenti del paesaggio effettuano durante i loro incontri europei. Abbiamo pertanto richiesto un breve rapporto dell’incontro ELASA tenutosi l’estate scorsa.

Come ogni anno dal 1990, ELASA l’associazione europea studentesca di architettura del paesaggio ha organizzato un meeting annuale e un mini meeting in cui gli studenti partecipanti, provenienti da tutta Europa, hanno potuto cooperare e scambiarsi idee. Continua a leggere “ELASA in Finlandia e in Estonia”

NEWS ON SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Estonian Presidency at the EU

The Estonian Presidency at the EU has been making efforts in drawing people’s attention to soil and its use as a component in European life and politics.

On 28 September, it launched a debate on soil with an interesting document which casts light to the problem with the following title: ‘Three square kilometres soil destroyed every day in Europe .

On 4-6 October, a High Level Conference as part of the EU Council Presidency entitled ‘Soil for sustainable food production and ecosystem services’ took place in Tallinn.

The main conclusions of the conference focused on 4 main themes:

  • Policy measures: the need for a strategy at EU level to indicate priorities and measures each EU Member State must implement;
  • Climate Change: the Paris Agreements did not recognize the role of soil in carbon accumulation – even though the 4 per 1000 Initiative was mentioned – therefore specific actions are demanded in and by all Member States, which must however take national and regional differences into consideration;
  • Soil data: it is important to increase the use of soil data in the entire EU, and at the same time harmonize soil measures in order to have a limited number of indicators denoting changes in soil quality, especially for farmers;
  • Communication and awareness raising: each Member State must encourage and create more awareness on the importance of soil for life among the entire European population.

These conclusions point to a specific direction to be followed. However they are not binding and are purely based on the good will of EU Member States.

Will the following presidencies act on what was said in Tallinn?

La presidenza Estone dell’UE

La Presidenza estone dell’Unione Europea si è particolarmente impegnata per portare l’attenzione sul suolo e il suo uso come componente della vita e della politica europea.

Il 28 settembre ha lanciato il dibattito sul suolo con un interessante documento che mette a nudo il problema col titolo “Tre chilometri quadrati sono distrutti tutti i giorni in Europa”.

Il 4-6 ottobre ha tenuto a Tallinn una conferenza ad alto livello come parte della Presidenza del Consiglio dell’Unione Europea, dal titolo “Suolo per la produzione alimentare sostenibile e per i servizi ecosistemici” .

Alleghiamo qui le conclusioni della Conferenza che convergono su 4 tematiche principali: Continua a leggere “La presidenza Estone dell’UE”

“Perché i giovani dovrebbero avere qualcosa da dire sul suolo” – by Joszi Smeets

Ci è sembrato utile cominciare con un originale punto di vista sul suolo espresso il 18 novembre scorso da Joszi Smeets, direttrice della rete olandese Youth Food Movement. Partecipando alla conferenza “Why Soil Matters”, organizzata al Parlamento Europeo, la giovane direttrice ha effettuato un intervento che riportiamo nella sua integralità in italiano. La versione originale in inglese è ascoltabile nel sito del YFM-Nl al seguente link:http://youthfoodmovement.nl/joszi-smeets-en-jaar-bodem/ (cliccare su “Why youth should have a say on soil”)