As the incoming International Practice PPN Chair, I would first of all like to thank Professor Jon Burley for his hard work and dedication to ASLA. Certainly the inquisitive interest he has displayed with all the attendees at the PPN meetings is something that I will certainly want to emulate. He also gathered materials for very memorable newsletters and kept us up to date on upcoming events of an international interest to Landscape Architects. I certainly want to keep him in the fold as my mentor.
The global economy with loosening of trade barriers, rise in economic wealth of developing countries, and the seemingly insatiable appetite for west-based knowledge and technology present great opportunities for landscape architects to practice internationally. I have always been in “international mode:” born in Italy, immigrated to Canada, educated in Canada and the U.S. and now practicing in both Canada and China. I have a BLA and MLA from the Universities of Toronto and Pennsylvania, respectively. I was fortunate to be part of the “Penn Experience” in the 70s, the so-called “Environmental Decade” when Ian McHarg, founder and first Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning in the Graduate School of Fine Arts, was still teaching. These were indeed memorable years! Incidentally last year was the 50th anniversary of McHarg’s famed Ecological (Rational) Planning Method.
I enjoyed very much my first International Practice PPN meeting in San Diego as Acting Chair. All participants were keenly motivated and certainly the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) report on Africa added to the importance of international practice and involvement in developing countries. I aim to attract some of the ASLA members who have been very active internationally but not so much in our meetings or other interactions. The spirit of the PPN and of our meetings is one of cooperation for mutual benefit rather than competitiveness; hence, there ought to be free exchanges about our international experience. There are also ample opportunities as members to collaborate internationally both on a professional and volunteer basis.
The PPN Newsletter is an important tangible product of our committee and critical to the communication of our experiences and insights to the ASLA membership. As we can see from this first newsletter of the 2012, the articles are not simply reports on project work but in fact cross-cultural exchanges about Landscape Architecture as a global phenomenon. These multi-cultural insights are extremely informative to those practicing abroad or aspiring to do so! Certainly the Newsletter is a priority item and one that needs to be fostered and sustained with ever informative and provocative material. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to it. Your input is truly welcome!
While I am very much looking forward to our next business meeting at this year’s ASLA conference in Phoenix, let’s try to network year around. The easiest and most effective way to communicate is through the International Practice PPN Linked-In group. If you have not yet joined or participated, please do! It is very easy and rewarding. Join our group, or see instructions to join LinkedIn.
We will also keep International Practice PPN members informed of the on-going ASLA and International PPN matters via email and other notices.
Fidenzio G. Salvatori, ASLA
SCI Landscape Architects
LAD Canada International
Toronto, Canada and Shanghai, China.