LI President Neil Williamson marked the end of his tenure by launching the Institute’s two-year review, Inspiring Great Places, at yesterday’s Presidents’ Reception.

Outgoing president highlights two years of achievement

LI President Neil Williamson marked the end of his tenure by launching the Institute’s two-year review, Inspiring Great Places, at yesterday’s Presidents’ Reception.

The event took place at the Oxo Tower Wharf in London and LI President-Elect Jo Watkins opened proceedings by describing the surroundings as an example of “the power of landscape and investment in public realm”.

He paid tribute to Williamson’s commitment to the Institute and cited the ‘I want to be a landscape architect’ as a particular success that had lead to a 20 percent rise in applications to accredited courses.

Neil Williamson focused on the themes of leadership,ideas and advocacy, and highlighted the LI’s Position Statements on climate change, green infrastructure and housing, the establishment of the Knowledge Base and the Institute’s role in managing the UK Landscape Award as he launched the Institute’s 2008-2010 Review.

CABE chair Paul Finch argued that the public sector cutbacks throw the role of voluntary bodies and independent professional institutes such as the LI, to the fore. In line with the concept of the ‘Big Society’, he added that the watchwords are likely to be “localism, transparency, accountability and value”.

On the subject of how landscape architects can add value, he said that, “To do more with less, as we will increasingly have to do, requires design expertise”, but to convince government of the leverage that design can bring would call for “coherent, cogent arguments backed by credible figures”.

The Reception also played host to The 35 cubes, the moveable, interactive sculpture designed by Farrer Huxley Associates and installed in various locations around the capital as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

To download a copy of the Landscape Institute review, click here.

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