Gap. Problem. Difference. Limitation. Interruption. Hole.

Divergence. Emptiness. Disparity. Conflict. Disruption.


This is a small sample of the symptoms that our landscapes are suffering nowadays due to the worlds continually change and reconfiguration. The concept of landscape has changed considerably over the past decades.


Interaction with landscapes is now a reality for everyone, users and space-makers alike. While the concept of landscape was traditionally attached to sites of exceptional quality, today’ landscape is virtually synonymous with our built and natural environments, in which we live our daily lives. It’s with those landscapes, whether urban or rural, that we rely upon to improve the quality for everyone.


The future of cities is a critical issue to todays' lifestyle. Now that more than half of the world’s population is urban, cities have transformations and decreasing the quality of life. Like living organisms, cities change: they grow and shrink, they flourish and decline.


The aim of this congress is for academics and professionals to share knowledge about how city space is created by the intertwining of various spheres. From such interaction with city environments, gaps in urban structure and urban life will appear and by exploring and understanding them, we are better prepared to create appropriate and unique environments in our cities – quality of life/quality of living.


Gaps are omnipresent, from those in our minds to those in physical space. These gaps affect us in many ways, big and small, from education to such international matters as the financial turmoil. “Mind the gap”, suggests that we must acknowledge the ‘gaps’ and also means that we must find new ways to understand the evolution of our cities and current urban conditions.


This congress will provide the opportunity for landscape architects and other professionals of related fields, from all over the world, to exchange points of view and share experience and solutions to achieve new landscapes, to improve our quality of life, and to define new ways of living.


The congress will take place in the undiscovered jewel of the Baltic Sea – Estonia. Geographically located in the north-eastern edge of the European Union, Estonia is very rich in natural landscapes, having almost half of its territory covered by forest. However being a small country, but the richness and diversity of its landscapes is positively surprising. The medieval capital of Tallinn has the perfect conditions to host our congress where everyone will have the opportunity to explore new landscapes and lives with a different twist.


New lives need new landscapes and new landscapes create new lives. How will our landscapes look like if we do not find solutions for our gaps? What will our future landscapes look like if we ignore the gaps which affect our environments and lives? Should we begin from the small or large gaps and in what direction will one or the other push us?


These are the questions for which will seek answers in the congress. Landscape Architecture must be forward-thinking and must both reach to and lead these dynamics of urban development. The profession must re-invigorate itself to produce the unique ideas that produce compelling change, because the main outcome is to create a pleasing and enjoyable space for society to use.



With this congress, we seek to:


  • Promote Landscape Architecture as a generator of quality of life in city environments;
  • Promote professional cooperation between different fields dealing with city space and environment;
  • Expose key speakers, speakers and guest to new and innovating ideas and ways of thinking;
  • Learn key skills needed for ensuring the future;
  • Focus public attention on city space and quality of life;
  • Invite city space users to appreciate the city and learn how to use it;
  • Through worldwide case-studies, find solutions for Tallinn’s city space challenges;
  • Reveal and promote Estonia as a green, nature-friendly and innovative country;
  • Share experiences with the next generation of city planners.



The congress will take place from November 2 to 4, 2011, in Tallinn, Estonia.


The congress will attract multi-disciplinary professionals and students from all over the world.


The structure of the congress will be based on:

  • Key-note speakers followed by open discussions
  • Parallel thematic sessions and discussions
  • Evening social events, demonstrating the Estonian culture, nature and gastronomy to our guests.


As a warm welcome to our guests, we also plan technical visits to introduce them to the built and natural environments in Estonia that relate to the congress topics. We also plan pre and post tours for those who wish to further explore the country.


A welcome party, gala dinner and farewell party is also included in the Congress Program.


The following events take place in parallel with the congress:

  • Estonian Landscape Architects Projects Exhibition
  • Student Project Competition
  • Fair for professionals, companies related with the profession, to expose products and materials and share contacts


General Topics

  • New Trends and Technologies in Landscape Architecture, Spatial Planning and Design
  • Sustainable Design and Re-use
  • Dynamic Processes in Nature, Economy and Society
  • Multi-diversity of Urban Open Spaces
  • Quality of the Living Environment and Quality of Life
  • Communication
  • Creative Thinking
  • Professional Education
  • Community Planning, Inclusion



The congress the main themes for each day are:

  • Day 1 – Gaps in Urban Structure – New Landscapes
  • Day 2 – Gaps in Urban Life – New Lives
  • Day 3 – Quality of Life / Quality of Living


Congress Target Groups

We seek to involve all fields working with built and natural spaces in cities, promoting dialogue and working teams for the future to improve the quality of the open space design and also the quality of cities.


Who should attend?


Landscape Architects, Architects, City Planners, Urban Designers, Environmental Designers, Engineers, Designers, Geographers, Academics and Researchers, Sustainability Practitioners, Social Planners, Historians, Artists, Futurists, Philosophers and Psychologists, Place Makers, Politicians, Policy Makers, City Governance Personnel,  Public Health Administrators, National Resources Administrators, Coastal Resource Managers, Planning Professionals, Elected Representatives, Mayors and Non-Government Agencies, Community and Industry Groups, Students and Active Citizens.




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