XI SIMPOSI - Climate Change Again


The first edition of the International Landscape Biennial arises from the desire to deepen and generate debate around the landscape. Not only from an environmental point of view, although it is one of the landscape conservation engines; also through landscape architecture. The search in all disciplinary fields linked to the study of the landscape and its evolution are relevant. Each edition of the Biennial revolves around a central theme, a motto that is chosen according to current affairs and concerns, both professional and social, related to landscape.

After the first seven editions of the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture: "Redo landscapes"(1999), "Insurgent gardens" (2001), "Only with nature" (2003), "Landscape: a product / a production" ( 2006), "Storm and momentum" (2008), "Liquid Landscapes" (2010) and "Biennial versus Biennial" (2012); There was a change in the eighth edition, which brought us closer to new landscape realities of the world through the internationalization of the Rosa Barba Prize. The call was consolidated with the following editions: "A Landscape for you" (2014), "Tomorrow Landscape" (2016) and "Performative Natures" (2018).

Barcelona will open again to the international landscape in September 2020 with its 11th edition, under the motto "Climate Change Again", where debates and round tables will revolve around the global crisis that endangers our ecosystems. One of the objectives is the identification of the tools we have for mitigating this problem that affects us all. The Biennial proposes a set of approaches in this scenario from different points of view: landscape, anthropological and social, biological...

Although awareness is becoming more latent, the guidelines and guidelines to address it are still settling. Colleen Mercer Clarke, (Chair, IFLA Working Group on Climate Change) states the following before the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency declaration at the IFLA World Congress, Oslo:

"Landscape architects must be leaders in this era of climate change. We have to defend the bases of the values of our profession. We have the skills and belief. The world needs and depends on us to help us with the problem."
"Climate change has already significantly affected most of the land and freshwater and marine ecosystems and species."

The consequences of these changes not only affect ecosystems, such as Richard Sennett (sociologist) and Saskia Sassen (sociologist and economist) question in "The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agenda"; They claim that the chain of effects has already reached the cities. "Quito Papers" is considered an anti-manifesto that collects intentional statements from a broad sense; from an architectural and planning side; although it also affects environmental philosophy, property and land management ... Sennet and Sassen discuss these relationships between climate change and the city:

"Climate change, due to the increase in droughts and floods, further reduces habitable land. These are flows that have recently begun or, if they are old, have only recently adopted their most prominent characteristics." 

For his part, Sennett argues that "We must apply ideas about open systems that currently encourage science for our understanding of the city."

Linked to the concept of the city's open system, Gilles Clément (gardener, garden designer and writer) puts on the table the idea of a moving garden and an emerging ecosystem that partly arises from the need for species survival and how they face the new times. Nature must act to maintain itself, but without being encased:

"The environmental response always ends up restoring balance when it comes to different species. Due to climate change, which causes new characteristics in climates, it is typical for the geographical distribution of the species also to change. Plants that in the past do not they could develop in some geographic regions now they can and, vice versa. "

At the moment we are, it is clear that nature does not have enough resources to conserve itself as individuals we have caused global warming. We must avoid entering a point of no return that catches us sooner than expected. Given this scenario, the main question to preserve our natural environment is: "What can we do?" Martha Schwartz (landscape architect) in her reading "Beyond Practice: Landscape Architects and the Global Eco-Crisis" makes the following announcement:

"My statement is of a collective call to action. We should advise financing development with a portfolio of geotechnologies to counteract human-made global warming to achieve the necessary reductions in CO2 emissions and move to sustainable energy economies. "

All these experts will be part of the debates and dialogues of the Symposium of the 11th edition of the International Landscape Biennial of Barcelona. The event will take place at Palau de la Música Catalana the 1st and 2on of October of 2020, under the motto "Climate Change Again". An interdisciplinary dialogue will open to put on the table which are the routes for mitigating climate change and how the landscape can become a primary tool to face it.