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1st Ethiopian Landscape Forum together with IFLA, the International Federation of Landscape Architecture, on 15th and 16th December, 2016

   The making of Ethiopian Landscapes

            Thefirst quarter of the twenty-first century is threatened by three global phenomena namely the high rate of urbanization, erratic climatic anomalies and terror driven by human migration. The positive and negative impacts of their these phenomena are continually etched on global landscapes. Landscape is a spatial entity that evolved over a period of time as a result of natural and cultural processes interaction. Natural processes refer to a bio-geomorphic system, while cultural processes are the sum total of human systems grafted on the environment for economic, social, recreational, transportation, military, religious and agricultural purposes. These usages create diverse landscape features, which in turn are responsible for diverse human adaptations for survival in a bioregion. Dynamic developmental economic survival has in recent years become the destructive stripping of natural landscapes of their originality and distorting precious cultural landscapes. This is being compounded by climate change phenomenon,urbanization and environmental injustice. Global players look in the direction of UNESCOInternational Landscape Convention; United Nations Habitat III; and Conference of Parties (COP) for solutions. The later, ‘COP’, stands for 196 signatories of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

            Ethiopia is conscious of its urban and rural landscapes and was one of the first countries to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC with interests on eveloping a green economy and meeting food security within its rapidly growing urbancentres. Though Ethiopia’s 16% urbanization seems low compared with other global south nations, the worry is what will influence our urban morphology, especially the desired public realm, green, grey and blue infrastructures? The October 1st UN Habitat III   gathering in Quito, Ecuador was about an urban paradigm shift reflecting on the ‘cities we need’, This paradigm shift sees landscape as a human construct showing dialogue that    occurs between human and ecological processes, as expressed in the UN 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Our national landscape of today evolved from the decisions made in yesteryears. The decision for tomorrow’s landscapes is being made now.What type of Ethiopian urban, social, rural, academic, touristic, agricultural, forest, riverlandscapes do we want tomorrow? What intellectual capacity building do we give to Ethiopian youths that will develop, manage, and preserve these landscapes? Your opinion matters. Please join us to dream about identity conscious Ethiopian landscapes for the next generation.

            Contact

Chair of Landscape Architecture

Aziza Abdulfetah, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

Kelly Leviker, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Calls: Landscape Architecture in Africa Exhibition (Professional Category)

           

            Landscape Architecture in Africa will be a multi-media exhibition of landscape architecture works from across the continent. Works that exhibit a public impact, increase resilience and demonstrate a multidisciplinary effort are especially encouraged to participate. The works should demonstrate the potential of landscape architecture in solving pressing issues, especially within the African context.

            Aim: to raise awareness of the profession and its potential amongst government officials and the public as well as for landscape architect professionals to gain a broader understanding of the professional works happening across the continent.

           

            Submission Format: Format submission is partially open. Semi-interactive formats, such as pamphlets, videos, photo albums, innovative materials used, amongst others, are encouraged, as to engage a wider audience. Panels should be A1 Portrait. There should be either 3 or 6 panels.

            Each submission should include who were the designers, city and country of the project, and a 250 maximum written description of the project.

           

            Submission Deadline:midnight, December 9, 2016

            Exhibition Output: a book, Crafting African Landscapes

           

Calls:Landscape Architecture in Africa Exhibition (Student Category)

           

            Landscape Architecture in Africa will be a multi-media exhibition of landscape architecture

            works from across the continent. Works that exhibit a public impact, increase resilience and demonstrate a multidisciplinary effort are especially encouraged to participate. The works should demonstrate the potential of landscape architecture in solving pressing issues,especially within the African context.

           

            Submission Format: Format submission is partially open. Semi-interactive formats, such as pamphlets, videos, photo albums, innovative materials used, etc.,are encouraged as to engage a wider audience. Panels should be A1 Portrait. There should be either 3 or 6   panels.

            Each submission should include who were the designers, city and country of the project, and a 250 maximum written description of the project.

           

            Submission Deadline:midnight, December 9, 2016

            Exhibition Output: a book, Crafting African Landscapes

Hosting Institution

            EiABC, (Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development),with its former name Building College, was established in 1954 by Emperor Haile Selassie.Currently, the institute has 3,200 registered students. The total number of staff is around 430, of which 200 are academic staff, and 230 are administrative and service staff.EiABC is an autonomous Institute of Technology under Addis Ababa University, offering programs related to the built environment at the Bachelor, Master and PhD level. EiABC has become a leader in excellent education, applied research as well as in offering       consultancy services to the industry and it, therefore, benefits to society as a whole. It offers its students, faculty, and researchers an inspiring environment and its doors

            are open for all partners in the academic and applied fields of the building industry.EiABC has more than 3,000 students and offers academic opportunities with various Bachelor, Master and PhD programs. It gained a reputation as the leading Institute of   Technology in the field of the built environment in East Africa and it is continuing to offer new chances, study opportunities, and research possibilities to all its students, faculty, and national as well as international partners.

           

            Master of Landscape Architecture

           

The Chair of Landscape Architecture was formed in 2014, when it branched out from the Chair of Environmental Planning. For its first year, it focused on aspects of landscape architecture within the Master of Environmental Planning and Landscape Design and   individual landscape architecture classes within the undergraduate architecture program.

            In September 2015, we launched the Master of Landscape Architecture. It is a two-year program and is the first program dedicated fully to the profession of landscape architecture within Ethiopia as well as within the Horn of Africa. As the program and    profession establishes itself, the program will have a particularly practical nature, as the   program is also about how to establish a profession. Once, the profession and program are more established, the program will acquire a more theoretical nature.

            Besides teaching, the other objectives of the Chair are to complete research and to serve within and create community outreach programs. This semester our Chair is involved with two community outreach programs. The first program is being completed together with an organization called Out of the Box. Our students together with this organization and   students from other chairs are designing and building a playground within a condominium development which previously was designed without a space to accommodate children.The second project which serves as both a research and community outreach project was            the design and on-going research of a roof garden and suitable roof garden plants for the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network headquarters building.

           

            Addis Ababa

            The relatively new capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, was first established in 1886 by King Menelik and Queen ‘Taitu. The discovery of fast-growing Eucalyptus trees, bahir zef,allowed for an adequate supplies of firewood and enabled a transition from a nation with roaming capitals to a settled capital. Addis Ababa, new flower, is the only African capital that was not colonized and, thus, the only African capital with an indigenous settlement pattern.

            Now, it is known as not only the capital city of Ethiopia, but the diplomatic capital of Africa, with the headquarters of the African Union, United National Economic Commission as well as the regional (African) office of the United Nations Development Programme. It is the fourth highest capital city in the world with elevations ranging from 2136 to 3197 meters as well as the fourth largest city in Africa. Despite being a capital city, the city is known for being relatively safe. It is the stage upon which a fast-paced modernization process is being enacted. The built form of the city consists of a stark contrast between sky scrapers competing for height and traditional neighborhoods. There are no multinational companies that dot the landscape and just by arriving on Ethiopian soil you will be seven years younger! Ethiopian uses its own calendar, similar to the Julian or Coptic calendar, which is seven–eight years behind the Gregorian calendar and includes 13 months. From this, Ethiopia is sometimes captioned as a country with ’13 months of Sunshine’.

            Sites to see in Addis Ababa: The Ethnological Museum (within the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie), National Museum (with Lucy), St. George Cathedral, ‘Red Terror’ Martyrs museum, Merkato (largest outdoor market in Africa), Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa museum, Entoto mountains, traditional ‘azmari betoch’ (establishments hosting traditional singing, mixed with poetry, and dancing).

            Ethiopia

            Ethiopia is known as the water tower of Africa, as it hosts fourteen rivers that descend from its mountainous terrain. One of theses rivers is one of the two sources of the Nile. Besides some of the highest elevations in Africa, there is the Danakil Depression, which is one of the lowest points on earth at 125 meters below sea level. Within the Danakil   Depression is Erta Ale, which is one world’s oldest active lava lakes. This is in the Afar triangle, where the East-African Rift Valley begins, which will one day separate Africa into two. The Rift Valley runs from the Red Sea through the middle of Ethiopia down into Mozambique.

            Nikoli Vavilov named Ethiopia as a biodiversity hotspot as well as the centre of origin for many cultivated, cereal crops, during his visits to the country in 1927. Ethiopia helped him to develop his theory the plants were domesticated not at random, but there were centres of domestication. There are now around 6,000 known species within the country, of which 10–12% are endemic.

            Ethiopia is home to one of the oldest known humans ‘Lucy’, Australopithecus afarensis,named after where she was found, Afar. It is the oldest independent country in Africa and it also was one of the first nations to accept Christianity as a state religion. In addition, the then kingdom of Aksum accepted some of the first followers of the Prophet Mohammed, thus some of the first Muslims, who were being persecuted in Mecca. The country has a long history of religious tolerance and co-mingling. There are nine UNESCO-listed world heritage sites (Lalibela, Negash village, Semien Mountains, Harar, Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi in           Gondar, the cultural landscapes in Konso, Awash lower valley, and Tiya) in Ethiopia. There are over 80 ethnic groups within the country and it is one of the least urbanized countries in the world. In 2015, Ethiopia was awarded as the best tourist destination by the European Council on Tourism and Trade.       

            Places to see in Ethiopia: Simien Mountains, Lake Tana, Blue Niles Falls, Harar, Omo National Park, Aksum (supposedly the location of the Ark of the Covenant), coffee   forests,Lalibela, Danakil Depression, amongst many others.

 

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