LI CEO looks forward to 2011 as a year for promoting the landscape architecture profession with renewed vigour

Alastair McCapra, LI CEO
Alastair McCapra, LI CEO

In a few weeks time, the LI Council will be discussing the draft budget for 2011-12, which provides for us to freeze membership fees and practice fees for another year, pay off the last tranche of our bank loan, increase financial support to branches, and devote greater resources to promoting our registered practices through advertising, business-to-business promotion and national campaigns.

There are plans in hand to work with a number of partner institutions, including the Garden Museum and the Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekten, to run joint seminars and conferences, some of which will give us an opportunity to exhibit items from our archive for the first time.

These activities are possible because the economies achieved over the past three years have freed up more resources to put into frontline work. As a result, I am looking forward to 2011 as a year when we promote the landscape architecture profession with renewed vigour.

The whole world of English local government is about to be transformed. There are huge changes to planning and local government in Northern Ireland, plans for £200bn of investment in major infrastructure, and we are counting down to the 2012 Olympics, which will be a major showcase for the effectiveness of landscape architecture as a key component of major public projects.

There remain, to be sure, some painful adjustments to the financial crisis of 2008 – just this week Arup and Hampshire County Council both announced more redundancies, and many landscape architecture practices are struggling to hang on, find new clients, and stretch themselves into new and challenging areas of work.

But it is refreshing to see that all is not doom and gloom; that some new opportunities are emerging for the profession even as others that have sustained it for much of the past decade have faded away; and, best of all, that the Landscape Institute is in a much better position than it has been for years to seize these opportunities and make a really positive impact on behalf of the profession.


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