Living with Disasters
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been set as common global rules to ensure the legacy of a healthy natural environment for the next generation. The cultures of the Asian monsoon region stem from living in harmony with nature, and we of the Japan Landscape Architects Union (JLAU) hold that such ways of life contain pointers to how social sustainability can be achieved. To this end, we are working towards holding an international forum, in fall of 2023 in Japan, bringing together landscape architects active in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss the outlook in this age of climate change, and appropriate strategies.
In the world today, the coronavirus pandemic is a major health hazard and natural disasters are becoming ever more severe due to climate change. We are therefore connecting and where possible working with like-minded stakeholders both in Japan and overseas in the hope of achieving our goal of improving the lives of communities.
The IFLA-APR congress in Japan will be held under the main theme of "Living with Disasters" and discuss the three following goals.
Creating social common capital by exploiting the natural environment
As landscape architects, we apply our abilities not only to matters of safety in times of disaster, but also to creating environments that make for comfortable living in the course of ordinary living. Green infrastructure (GI) uses richly natural solutions to reverse and prevent disaster and can be said to be an icon of sustainable development.
As such, GI also has a strong affinity with investment that complies with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). Moreover, in addressing the issues involved, GI starts with the catchment basin, and establishes a solid link between forests, farmland and urban areas.
We work to further the implementation of GI in society, and, at the same time, we discuss evaluation methods for verifying the results.
Seeking ways for happy living in harmony with nature
As landscape architects, we are able to give new life to parks and squares and, by turning them into pleasant spaces, provide opportunities for the people of communities to bond.
With increasing urbanization and societal aging, people are said to be facing the "three great miseries" of isolation, anxiety and boredom; yet the natural environment has the power to create bonds between people, comfort them and induce mindfulness of others.
We want to enhance the value of the natural capital that remains in our localities and have discussions about how it can be used as a social resource that preserves the environment and improves quality of life.
Inheriting a cultural and historical legacy rooted in the local natural environment
As landscape architects, we hold the history and the culture of localities in high esteem. Contributing to the advancement of industry and development of human resources in the localities is fundamental to our efforts. Also, we take the idea of space as in the tutelary forests that local communities have so cherished and maintained, as well as in the Japanese garden and bring it to our design of projects that support distinctive local handicrafts, manufacture and content creation.
We conduct dialogue with the aim of forming a sustainable social model where the fostering of love for and pride in a locality can coexist with the furthering of its economy and industry.