Anticipating 2022 IFLA World Congress, Gwangju, South Korea


Kyung Jin Zoh, President of the Korean Institute of Landscape Architecture

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The 58th IFLA World Congress will be held in Gwangju, Korea in the fall of 2022. It is very meaningful to host a festival in Korea that will be joined by landscape architects from all over the world. 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Korean Institute of Landscape Architecture. It will be a great opportunity to ponder what Korean landscape architecture has contributed to our society over the past 50 years and how we should prepare for the next 50 years. 2022 will be more significant because it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. IFLA World Congress, 2020 was delayed due to Covid-19. In August of this year, IFLA World Congress was scheduled to take place in Penang, Malaysia. Sweden, the original 2022 event nation, yielded Korea and postponed it to 2023 because 2022 was a meaningful year to Korea.


The theme of the World Congress is "Re: Public." In an effort to solve the urban health problems caused by the advent of industrial cities two centuries ago, the modern landscape architecture was fostered by leading public landscape improvement, such as the creation of parks and park systems. Landscape architecture has always been a social leadership from a public perspective. In the world congress, we will share various ideas and thoughts and practical examples of how landscape architecture will play out in public leadership today. The 21st century has many different problems than cities in the 19th century. The new challenge is how landscape architecture can solve various era problems such as climate change, the pandemic, disasters and social division. I believe landscape architecture can have strong public leadership when it suggests practical solutions for these issues. In addition, in the post-Corona era, we need to contemplate the re-composition of everyday life and spatial relations. The need for parks and green spaces that can be accessed close to home is increasing due to heightened health concerns. Changes and challenges within the field,  which covid-19 has, are also issues to be addressed in depth in the IFLA world congress, 2022.


The event will be held in Gwangju, mainly southern part of Korea, which is a place with a wide variety of landscape and cultural resources. It is the best place to share our traditional culture and space with world community. In addition, we will also host pre and post event in Seoul in order to introduce modern landscape architecture to the participants. Partial programs such as the IFLA world Exco and world council meetings will be held in Seoul. In addition, various projects are being developed in cooperation with various government agency to lift up the status of landscape architecture in time for the IFLA world congress. We hope that citizens will enjoy the changing of the cityscape via various festivals linking to the event. Furthermore, if political conditions have improved, and North Korean landscape professional can also be invited together, hoping that the IFLA congress will be a great event of peace in which the North and the South interact. If this is realized, the world meeting of landscape architects will be a special occasion, and the landscape festival in Korea will become the center of sending a message to the world. In an age of green revolution, the landscape architecture will seek to devote it to the public good. I would like to invite all IFLA APR members. Please participate and join in the IFLA world congress, Gwangju, 2022.