Resources, Ecologies and Indigenous Cultures: what landscape architecture can do
There is something quietly powerful and poetic about the Australian continent, its landscape and its cultures. And yet our history of settlement has been shaped by the primacy of economics and global networks of capitalism, rather than the qualities and potentials of the land on which our cities are built. In the future, climate change and population increases will play bigger roles in the inexorable expansion of cities and dictate how we manage resources to sustain rapid growth. Rapid population growth will inevitably be mirrored by an equivalent economic growth, which has always been fuelled by an unparalleled extraction of resources around the country. This puts enormous pressure on fragile landscapes, ecosystems and a biodiversity already vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In the midst of this situation, Indigenous Australians, historically dispossessed of their lands, are now having to fight to maintain the health of those lands – central to their cultural practices – and from which, in some instances, they continue to be actively excluded.
There is a tension between all of these factors, the challenges are complex, and new ways of thinking are urgently required. What role can landscape architects play at the interface of these tensions? How, for example, might we better embrace and support new and productive relationships to indigenous knowledge, scientific knowledge and culture? How can local conditions inform new approaches to urban ecology and urban energy, or to mining and land stewardship? What new knowledge systems might act as a frame for research, design and practice?
Professor Nina-Marie Lister
Graduate Director of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada ecology and environmental planning
Dr. Ian Wright
Scientist with Sydney Water
Associate Professor David Suggett
Marine biologist in the UTS Future Reefs Program
Dr. Deborah Rose
Social and ecological justice
Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at RMIT University
Barkandji Women from the Murray Darling who lives in Gol Gol NSW and undertaking PhD in Anthropology. With interests in interdisciplinary collaborative research endeavors and boarder landscape issues.