The sell-out audience at the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture provided a preview to the 2017 edition, which is forecast to be the biggest in the event’s history.

Over 600 delegates were in attendance at the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: Not In My Backyard Conference, which wrapped up in Canberra over the weekend. The broader Festival engaged with over 3,000 participants across thirty fringe events ranging from Kidscape playground in Haig Park, Anthroposcene global short film competition and #backyardexperiment pop-up park in Canberra’s CBD.

The 2017 Festival Creative Directorate will be convened by Prof Helen Lochhead, Dean of UNSW Faculty of Built Environment, with UNSW Built Environment, Landscape Architecture faculty Catherine Evans, Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard, Dr Katrina Simon and Mike Harris in close collaboration with Mark Tyrrell (TyrrellStudio) and Dr Scott Hawken (UNSW MUDD Program). The 2017 Festival of Landscape Architecture is themed ‘Shifting Territories’ and is a reference to the rapidly evolving conditions of global settlements.

According to Prof Helen Lochhead, 55 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the figure is expected to grow by mid‐century to 65 per cent. Observing that the speed and magnitude of this growth requires the heightened and informed engagement of the landscape architecture profession, she added that the 2017 theme offers a framework for exploring an expanded scope of practice as they seek to inform decisions concerning shifting urban conditions.

The 2017 Festival theme ‘Shifting Territories’ will be developed through a series of lenses:

- Shifting Cities will frame a discourse from megaprojects to infrastructure and public works to neighbourhoods and communities;

- Shifting Alliances will focus on the new political paradigms and emerging networks – global to local that are shifting the balance of power and influence;

- Shifting Ecologies will move the discussion to peripheral landscapes and constructed ecosystems in dense urban environments;

- Shifting Atmospheres will talk to climate change and adaptation;

- Shifting Perspectives looks at how technology enables new views of landscape; and,

- Shifting Natures will examine the first to the fourth dimension.

To be held in Sydney, Australia’s largest and fastest growing city, the 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture is scheduled for October with the program designed to connect the public with landscape architects. Events for the 2017 Festival of Landscape Architecture will include the National Conference, National Landscape Architecture Awards, a student program, parties, talks, tours, exhibitions, installations and city activations.