Thoughts on green infrastructure in Lithuania by Ramune Sanderson

I have recently been back to my native Lithuania, where I’ve attended the annual general meeting of the Lithuanian Association of Landscape Architects and received a commendation from the Ministry of Environment for one of Terra Firma’s projects submitted for the awards ceremony. This has been specifically commended for the good use of methodology in regenerating industrial landscape. I also had many discussions about the importance of the politics of green urbanism and the current economical situation’s influence on status of the landscape architecture. As always, I left these events with a head full of thoughts and the nagging feeling that a plan of action must be started. Admittedly, coming over from the every day landscape life of a western European country,Lithuaniawith its Baltic neighbours does seem like a country full of opportunities. However, this is contrary to the views of a lot of Lithuanian based colleagues I have spoken to.

 

Panorama of Vilnius City, Lithuania. It is perceived as a green city, but is the green really 'green'?

Yes, today’s economical situation in Lithuania is suffering as much, if not more than elsewhere in Europe and at a glance it seems difficult to prioritise the importance of the landscape –  quote obviously it is more important to have a food on the table and pay the heating bills (temperatures in Lithuania can drop to minus 20 in winter). Such thinking however cannot be the determining answer and with my modest experience of the life in the excesses of the western world it is obvious that plane materialism leads to mistakes, which are likely to cost more for our future generations to fix. Coincidentally, I happened to get hold of a periodical cultural magazine with an article which reminded me about E. F. Schumacher’s ideas and an alternative model of economics based on values of sustainability. This can be expressed perfectly through the ideas of green urbanism and Green Infrastructure. Yes, this is a big task and strong political thinking is essential.

I strongly believe, that although these are tough economic times at present and the future is uncertain, there are plenty of possibilities to shape our environment in the way for it to last and benefit the future generations. And again I am happy realising how fortunate position of landscape architects is. Let’s make most of it! It already is happening here, inUKand it is time for it to properly begin there, inLithuania.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on green infrastructure in Lithuania by Ramune Sanderson

  • 12/03/2012 at 17:56
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    Ramune, interesting how one connection leads to others. Can you direct or link me to the Methodology in regenerating industrial space. The environment and land reclamation has always been of interest to me and I hope to be in the UK and Europe this year so I might be able to see a sight or two.

    The University of Guelph, where I studied and researched, had a great landscape architecture school which I considered but focused on natural resources instead. Hope you have time to get back to me.

    Best regards
    James

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    • 29/03/2012 at 20:20
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      Dear James,

      Thank you for your comment. Try looking at ‘Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape’ or ‘Designing the Reclaimed Landscape’. Have a look also here: http://www.cityfutures2009.com/PDF/68_Loures_Luis.pdf
      – it has some examples of places to visit.
      In UK, the famous Eden Project in Cornwall is a result of successful landscape reclamation. I hope the above suggestions will guide you towards the information you are looking for.

      Best wishes
      Ramune

      Reply

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