Hal is a member of the IFLA Advisory Circle. Members of IFLA Advisory Circle provide expert insight and thought leadership on national regional and international developments which directly or indirectly concern landscape architecture.
Hals areas of expertise are:
1. AGRICULTURE/FOOD & WATER:
Two interwoven subjects which are fundamental to human survival.
Worldwide figures from FAO and World Bank illustrating trends:-
Earth’s land area is 149million km2, of which 49million km2 produces food.
Agriculture accounts for 70% of freshwater use globally.
1960 -1970: World rural population was 2 billion, 66% of the total of 3 billion.
15million km2 was arable land.
1990: 47.3million km2 was forested. 76% of people worldwide had access to fresh water.
2015: World rural population is 3.4 billion, now only 45% of the world total of 7 billion.
16million km2 is arable land. 45.9million km2 is forested. 91% of people worldwide have access to fresh water.
Average arable fertiliser consumption, which can lead to river pollution, is 138kg/ha, compared to 105 kg/ha in 2002.
Worldwide food production is 3.5 times that in 1965.
2050 projection: World population will be 9.3. billion. Without improved efficiency, agricultural water demand will increase by 20%.
Therefore, unless there is widespread famine, it is inevitable that arable land area will increase, forest area will be less
& demand for water will be greater, possibly more than the water available in some places, such as California or Ethiopia .
Global warming will affect trends but in ways not well understood or easily foreseeable.
IFLA needs to acknowledge these trends and welcome improving life conditions worldwide. It will be for allied experts to seek solutions to agricultural and water supply problems; half-understood populist solutions should be avoided by IFLA since there are important contributions for the profession to make, such as:
* Policy for rural land should be about more than only agriculture, including other qualities which can be integrated with farming by landscape design.
* Humans share the world with many other creatures; their habitats need to be part of the rural landscape which farmers look after.
* Features promoting the wellbeing of people need to be interwoven with food production, such as shelter around habitations.
* Rural landscapes provide solace for visitors from urban areas; places and routes for recreation and tourism should be interwoven with farmland.
* In the countryside active sports of many sorts can be enjoyed, for which provision should be made.
* Food growing can also be part of urban life and so towns need to provide space for this, particularly in less affluent communities.
* Beauty of landscape and views should always be part of the countryside.
* Economy of water use needs to be integral with development by choosing appropriate plants and land surfaces.
* All land use and development needs to be arranged to minimise downstream flooding.
Skylines and distant views are a memorable feature of cities, by which they are often remembered. In historic cities the skyline was often a description of civic organisation. The arrival of very tall buildings has sometimes led to confusion of the urban landscape, particularly when the form of an historic city is ignored when locating new tower blocks. In most places tall buildings are not needed to accommodate the needs of a city but, like other skyline features, are welcomed for emotional reasons.
Landscape techniques have been defined by which the integrity of city skylines can be conserved while allowing for tall new buildings to be added to the urban fabric in appropriate places.