IFLA 2013 SGJA AWARDEE
GONÇALO RIBEIRO TELLES
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles has made an outstanding contribution to Landscape Architecture through his life-long commitment to his chosen profession. His achievement in all aspects of landscape architecture – landscape planning, landscape policies, landscape design and landscape education – has been quite phenomenal.
The defense of democracy, the humanization of the landscape, and the quality of life of the Portuguese population are hallmarks of his civic life and professional career. With a long involvement and initiative in public intervention, he has for decades been pioneering in delivering ideas and designs advocating for recognition of productive landscape as recreation space. He is still actively participating in the defense of a sustainable development model for Portugal on key issues connected to planning and the environment such as Forest Policy and Green Infrastructure.
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles graduated in Agronomic Engineering and Landscape Architecture in 1950 to be part of the first generation of Landscape Architects in Portugal. He is a founding member of the Portuguese Society of Landscape Architects (APAP), which was founded in 1976, and is still active in the association.
The revolution in Portugal in 1974 brought him to the forefront of the country`s political life. In 1975 he was appointed Secretary of State of the Environment and began his work on environmental policies in Portugal. He was a pioneer in the defense and conservation of environmental values, and the promotion of land-use planning, sustainable development and the humanization of cities. He is mainly responsible for the current legal Framework Laws on conservation, land-use planning and environmental quality. He continues to be active in the dissemination of the ideas and principles in these fields in which he was a forerunner and for which he has fought unceasingly.
He has published over 100 works on various subjects, such as land use planning, the environment, urbanism, visual analysis, landscape, projects, agriculture, resource management, education and policies”.
His career spans over 60 years and he has clearly had a unique and lasting impact on the development of landscape architecture as a practitioner, educator and public administrator as well as a member of various governments. Within the Housing Department Institute, he set up the Landscape Planning and Green Areas Department. He was also Minister for Quality of Life and was one of the first Portuguese politicians to call attention to ecological problems, thus having an influence far beyond the tiny size of the parties he has led.
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, has, within 60 years of active work, opened many doors and minds, and has contributed greatly to an awareness and integration of landscape architecture into public life. His life achievement is an example for everyone to follow and he is a most worthy recipient of the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award.