Landscape Architects Key to Climate Adaptation

Author: Siva

Climate Adaptation

The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) says the government’s success in designing a nationwide climate adaptation framework depends on them.

NZILA President Debbie Tikao has said that the success of any strategy will depend entirely on the government’s propensity to employ landscape architects. This message comes after Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts’ announcement to conduct an inquiry into climate adaptation.

“As stewards of the environment, landscape architects are experts in understanding how best to interact with the landscape, how it can be enhanced through sustainable design, and how to avail it to tackle climate change,” she says.

“As such, the Institute has already undertaken significant work in developing a series of guideline documents that will support landscape architects’ role in responses to climate change and climate-positive design.

“Once we publish them later this year, they will be crucial to the Government’s success in designing a climate adaptation framework for New Zealand.”

A Welcome Shift

In a recent statement, Hon Simon Watts said that “New Zealand’s ability to cope with climate change will be strengthened as part of the Government’s focus to build resilience as we rebuild the economy”. 

This was a message welcomed by NZILA’s Debbie Tikao. “Landscape architecture is well-positioned to be a leader in climate change adaptation and mitigation, but it is often missing from the climate change dialogue.”

Any legislation required to support the framework is expected to be introduced in early 2025.

“There has never been a more pressing time for landscape architects to take the time to grow knowledge and think more deeply about their relationships – to each other, to communities, and whenua,” Debbie Tikao says.

“Because we have the know-how to improve the built environment’s energy and carbon efficiency, we’re calling on the Government to put us to good use to support them in mitigating climate change impacts through good planning and design.”




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