Architects advocate sustainable living, ecological preservation
Amid the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation and climate change, professionals under the aegis of the Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN) have reiterated the need for stakeholders to engage practitioners, who will provide innovative solutions that balance infrastructure development with ecological preservation.
The society wants Nigerians to embrace landscape architecture as its key in shaping a brighter future for the nation’s environment and its people.
Speaking to journalists, President of the association, Mr. Amos Alao, explained that landscape architects play a crucial role in enhancing the environment by designing sustainable green spaces, promoting biodiversity, managing water resources and integrating cultural elements into landscape architectural projects.
Alao explained that in a world, where environmental concerns are at the forefront, the professionals have emerged as pivotal figures in the transformation of a nation’s urban and rural spaces, ensuring sustainable design, biodiversity promotion, and cultural integration to achieve a resilient environment.
He said: “Landscape architects play a vital role in creating sustainable green spaces that foster healthy living in urban and rural areas. By designing parks, gardens and recreational areas, they contribute to improved air quality, reduced urban heat islands and enhance the well-being of Nigerians.”
Nigeria boasts of a rich and diverse ecosystem but faces challenges due to urbanisation and habitat loss. However, he said landscape architects collaborate with ecologists and environmental scientists to design spaces that promote biodiversity through careful selection of native plants, creation of wildlife habitats and implementation of green infrastructure, to contribute to the protection and restoration of Nigeria’s unique flora and fauna.
He noted that managing water resources is a critical concern, where flooding and water scarcity are recurring issues, stressing the need to engage experts, who are skilled in designing sustainable storm-water management systems that mitigate flooding and enhance water quality.
“The experts’ innovative approaches to rainwater harvesting, bio-retention basins and permeable pavements are essential in addressing these challenges. Landscape architects understand the importance of preserving cultural heritage and identity. By integrating local art, architecture and cultural elements into their designs, they create spaces that resonate with the community’s values and history. This fosters a sense of belonging and pride among the people while ensuring that the environment remains a reflection of the nations’ rich cultural tapestry,” he said.
Essentially, he disclosed that several remarkable landscape projects demonstrate the positive impact of the architects. “Notable impacts include the revitalisation of urban waterfronts, creation of eco-friendly housing developments, and restoration of degraded landscapes,” Alao said.
“These projects stand as testaments to the transformative potential of landscape architecture in the country,” Alao said.
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