52nd World Congress, St Petersburg, Russia
Letter to the Major of St Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko and to the Head of Committee of City Planning and Architecture, Vladimir Grigorev
Dear Georgy Poltavchenko and Vladimir Grigorev,
I want to thank you formally for the tremendous support you gave to the IFLA 52nd World Congress. The whole city seemed to have been involved in the event, as though it had embraced IFLA. I have never experienced a congress that has had such impact on and presence in its locality.
This is testimony to the huge investment of time and effort from you, from Taisia Voftrub, President of the Association ALAROS and Larisa Kanunnikova, Chair of the Landscape Architecture department of the Architectural and town planning Committee of the Government of Saint-Petersburg, Ilya Mochalov, the former Executive Secretary of IFLA, and the academic and technical teams. I thank you all.
The opening ceremony was breathtaking. It is difficult to imagine how future organizers could match the spectacle. The welcome party and the gala dinner were also great celebratory occasions, providing the opportunity to experience the food and culture of St Petersburg as well as to meet old friends and make new ones. We so rarely get together, it is a very important networking event in the IFLA calendar, so I thank you for making it so special. I was honoured to open the Parade Gardens just outside St Petersburg, next to the brand new Expo. I cannot think of a more tangible, real reminder of this remarkable Congress than a permanent display of international parks and gardens.
It is so important for us to have such strong governmental support. I don’t just mean financially, though of course this is vital, but also in spirit. This is evident in the way you are thinking about and planning the city and the decisions you are making to improve the quality of life for all. St Petersburg is taking the lead – and we need leaders if we are to meet the global challenges we all face. You are showing that landscape can mediate between social, economic and technical issues, can help spearhead and shape housing, health, tourism, environmental and cultural strategies. At St Petersburg you are demonstrating how to work across institutional and disciplinary boundaries to achieve an impressive transformation.
Thank you again for hosting the 52nd World Congress and for the opportunity to visit and get to know your great city.
Very best regards
Professor Kathryn Moore