The Carbon Landscape and observations from the IFLA World Congress | Beca
In September, Craig Pocock – Principal Landscape Architect at Beca, delivered a keynote address on his pioneering Carbon Landscape work to the 58th International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress Gwangju 2022 in South Korea. Attendees came to learn from one another, contributing to IFLA’s mission to create globally sustainable and balanced living environments around the globe.

In this article, Craig presents his first-hand observations from the Congress, and what he has learned about the Carbon Landscape to date.

Delivering the Carbon Landscape to an international audience on the opening day of the 2022 IFLA World Congress was a real privilege – to represent my profession and New Zealand on the global stage. 

More importantly, the opportunity gave mana to an idea that originates out of Aotearoa. The Carbon Landscape not only reflects kaitiaki values unique to Aotearoa, it is also an original idea that is about two decades ahead of its time. 

To acknowledge that kaupapa, Aotearoa, and my own place in the world, I started my keynote with my mihi and gave a brief explanation as to why the mihi is important in forming our approach to whenua and design. I am not confident in te reo Māori but wanted to do my best to represent Aotearoa on an international stage. 

The presentation sparked three days of conversations with international IFLA leaders around carbon mitigation in our urban environments and city-wide open space networks. I started to understand how far ahead Aotearoa’s Carbon Landscape thinking is compared to the rest of the world. It was both disappointing and exciting: as an international design collective I thought we would be further ahead than we are. And yet, it also gave a clear indication that there is a chance to amplify our thinking, get ahead of the market and for Aotearoa to remain the innovators. 

Another keynote speaker thanked me for making the effort to acknowledge a First Nations people and cultural practice. She explained the impacts of past colonisation on South Korea and the ongoing …


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