Editorial
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Editorial

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Résumé en français

Dans ce numéro

Ce numéro du journal sous le thème « Paysages iconiques » comprend un article de Graham Young sur les paysages de l'émancipation dans lequel il rappelle l'évolution des projets du Freedom Park et du Complexe Gouvernemental de Mpumalanga, et leur rôle dans l’Afrique du Sud à l’aube de la démocratie.

Gareth Doherty compare un Bosquet Sacré d’Osun « non conçu » avec le parc Nelson Mandela Freedom Park conçu par l'architecte, tous les deux au nord de Lagos. Il plaide pour une reconnaissance de la conception paysagère indigène.

Mohammad Falaki et Nadir Nasidi du Nigéria discutent de l'effet du colonialisme sur le paysage traditionnel/culturel de Kano, en particulier ses espaces publics, et ce en contraste avec l’évolution de la vieille ville fortifiée.

Liana Jansen nous montre comment «lire» le paysage et ses nombreuses significations, à traversles yeux des premiers habitants de Biesje Poort, près de la frontière sud-africaine avec la Namibie. Ces significations transcendent le paysage intérieur physique et le plus abstrait.

Johan van Papendorp et Penny Moir discutent de l'évolution de la conception de l'une des fermes viticoles emblématiques du Cap depuis le début de la colonisation jusqu'à nosjours, et de la façon dont la conception s'est adaptée au cadre local en unesérie de couches.

Dans le commentaire final, Bernard Oberholzer parle dela main cachée du designer, où le design évolue à partir du pouvoir du lieu,comme l'illustrent les projets de paysage sur la Montagne de la Table, au cap du Cape Point et le Cap des Aiguilles, la pointe sud de l'Afrique.

Background to the Journal

In August 2014 a group of landscape architects met in the offices of OvP Associates in Cape Town. Their intention was to found a landscape architecture journal that would better reflect the true scope and depth of the profession through incisive articles, including those of an academic or research nature, the idea being that the journal would be the official publication of the Institute of Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA).

The feeling was that existing journals at the time were more orientated to the landscape trade industry and were not a good reflection of the greater role of landscape architects in addressing environmental and social issues. There was also a need to have a medium where conference papers and even peer-reviewed articles could be published.

Despite the initial enthusiasm, the initiative ran out of steam, partly due to those involved being already extended in their own practices or with teaching, along with the perennial problem of funding such an initiative on a sustainable basis.

In February 2018 discussions were held with the University of South Africa (UNISA) by members of ILASA around the idea of having a landscape journal orientated more toward scientific, peer-reviewed articles that could attract authors from across the globe. However, ILASA, although supportive, understandably did not have the appetite to guarantee funding to UNISA for such a journal and this initiative fizzled out quietly as well.

In September 2019, at the IFLA World Council meeting in Oslo, Bernard Oberholzer approached Carey Duncan, President of IFLA Africa, with the idea of having a landscape journal that served the whole of Africa and not just South Africa. The idea was met with enthusiasm, and Bernard, together with Graham Young, Secretary General, IFLA Africa, who had retired from full-time teaching at the University of Pretoria, took on the project, supported by an editorial panel comprising academics and practitioners from across the continent.

The timing of the journal is propitious. The IFLA Africa Region has published its African Landscape Convention – a declaration of fundamental principles to support stewardship of the African landscape, an African Landscape Network has been formed, and IFLA Africa is active in supporting new institutions of landscape architects in several African countries. The new journal could therefore play an important unifying role in these initiatives across the Continent.

This first issue of the African Journal of Landscape Architecture and the hosting of the journal website were generously funded by IFLA World, and the design of the website was carried out on a pro bono basis by Jacques Oberholzer of Now Boarding Digital. We are also indebted to Carey Duncan for assistance with the French translations.

It is hoped that this issue will be a wellspring for many issues to come, providing a useful forum for landscape architects and related disciplines in both practice and academia.

Articles in this issue

This issue on 'Iconic Landscapes' includes a paper on Landscapes of Emancipation by Graham Young in which he recalls the evolution of the Freedom Park and the Mpumalanga Government Complex projects and their role in a newly democratic South Africa.

Gareth Doherty compares an 'undesigned' Osun Sacred Grove with an architect-designed Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, both north of Lagos, and argues for an acknowledgement of indigenous landscape design.

Mohammad Falaki and Nadir Nasidi of Nigeria discuss the effect that colonialism has had on the traditional / cultural landscape of Kano, particularly its public spaces, and the contrast with the old walled city.

Liana Jansen shows us how to 'read' the landscape, and its many meanings, through the eyes of early inhabitants at Biesje Poort, near the South African border with Namibia. These meanings transcend the physical and the more abstract inner landscape.

Johan van Papendorp and Penny Moir discuss the design evolution of one of the Cape's iconic wine farms from the time of early settlement to the present day, and the way the design has adapted in a series of layers to the local setting.

In a final commentary, Bernard Oberholzer talks of the hidden hand of the designer, where design evolves from the power of the place, as illustrated in landscape projects on Table Mountain, and at Cape Point and Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa.

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