Landscape Institute announces series of walks and talks for London Architecture Festival 2014

The Landscape Institute has announced its first programme of London Festival of Architecture events this June. In partnership with The Building Centre, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, London, the Siobhan Davies Studio and Aecom it will host seven events, including three walks on the theme ‘Talking on Water’. The walks and talks, which start with an exploration of Hampstead Heath on Thursday 5 June, will explore the history, the future and the impact of water on London life and broader issues of making cities more liveable.

In February this year the Thames Barrier was closed a record of 20 times due to high fluvial floods. London is experiencing more seasonal rainfall, and how it copes with higher rainfall in the winter and less in the summer is a major 21st century challenge. The Landscape Institute campaigns for Water Sensitive Urban Design as a fundamental tool in making the water supply more sustainable and delivering liveable cities.

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Walk: Talking on Water – Hampstead Heath: preventing flooding in London
An unprecedented opportunity to find out about the history, management and future of the Heath. The walk will explore the history of the site as well as the role of the ponds in providing water for London and the way in which they were created. It will look at the current plan for flood risk avoidance and the choices to be made in making the Heath safer for the next fifty years. Led by Peter Wilder of Wilder Associates and Strategic Landscape Architect for Hampstead Heath, with a representative from the City of London. Organised with the Building Centre.

Water Sensitive Urban Design: why London needs to change the way it designs with water
Michael Henderson, associate director of sustainability at AECOM and Sue Illman, Landscape Institute president and director of Illman Young Landscape Design, talk about Water Sensitive Urban Design projects around the world and discuss why sustainable drainage is essential for city housing and streets. The talk includes a screening of ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’, a film commissioned by the Landscape Institute which explains the concept and argues the case for designing ‘with’ water when planning any new development.

Water, Meat, Drink and the Lie of the Land
A walk from Liverpool Street to Islington exploring the way in which water has influenced the design of this part of London – led by Tim Waterman of Writtle College of Design. It will include the New River, Smithfield and link the manufacture of leather and the slaughter of cattle, bookbinding, graphic design and architecture.

A Walk in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – function and beauty in landscape
Organised in association with The Building Centre.

An opportunity to tour the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, looking at the way the site has been influenced by the River Lea navigation and other canals. The walk will explain how the river and canals were moved, deculverted and managed to make the site what it is today. The walk is led by Phil Askew, project sponsor for parklands and public realm at LLDC.

How liveable is London?
A panel debate organised with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which will tackle the issue of liveability. The panel will explore solutions for London’s current and future housing need, as well as wider concerns about infrastructure, resilience and urban change. Speakers include Rosalie Callway (CPRE London), Noel Farrer (Farrer Huxley Associates), Rebecca Sudworthy (Peabody), Darren Johnson (London Assembly), Lucy Musgrove (Publica) and Bruce McVean (Movement for Liveable London).

What has nature ever done for us?
Organised in association with Siobhan Davies Studios.

One of Britain’s leading environmental campaigners, Tony Juniper, will discuss the services nature performs for us, from the provision of water and food to the atmosphere and environment that sustain and protect us. Chaired by Sue Illman, President, Landscape Institute.

Plants, People, Place and Landscape
Organised in association with Siobhan Davies Studios.

A guided walk from City Hall to Elephant & Castle, led by Paul Lincoln of the Landscape Institute and Johanna Gibbons of J&L Gibbons Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. Starting at City Hall the walk will move along the south bank of the Thames exploring the integration of plant life in the capital.

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