Quack architects dominate despite potential in greener cities

According to IFLA, the total number of architectures globally, it only represents 78 national members out of 195 nations.

In Summary
  • Africans living in cities to increase by about 60% in 2050.
  • The UN says Africa's population living in urban areas rose from 27% in 1950 to 40% in 2015.
Architectural Association Of Kenya (AAK) president Florence Nyole.
Architectural Association Of Kenya (AAK) president Florence Nyole.

There are more than one million landscape architects in the world, but only 40 per cent who are legally recognised get involved in architectural works that point towards building of future greener cities.

This is according to the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), an organisation that represents the profession globally.

It says out of the total number of architectures globally, it only represents 78 national members, and at least 50,000 landscape architects.

“However, despite the huge number, there is still a need to create awareness and recognition of the profession,” says IFLA president Bruno Marques.

He was speaking on the second day of the two-day annual IFLA forum that was co-hosted by Kenya and Sweden from September 28 to 29.

The conference sought to explore new forms of collective problem-solving and cooperation while keeping climate change matters, social inequality and biodiversity at the forefront.

 The number of Africans living in cities is expected to increase by about 60 per cent in 2050. UN says the number rose from 27 per cent in 1950 to 40 per cent in 2015.

With the population projected to rise further to 2050 by at least 60 per cent, it will consequently worsen the climate change crisis,” the UN says.

Early this year, the Architectural Association Of Kenya (AAK) president Florence Nyole, noted that less than 25 per cent of Kenyans are using professional architectural services when putting up structures.

This is as she expressed concern about the standards and sustainability of buildings being put up in major towns.

“The low numbers are related to the presumption among Kenyans that professionals are expensive,” Nyole said.

She noted that getting professional services saves the cost of faulty structures which tumble down not long after they are put up.

She reiterated the other significance of incorporating architects, specifically landscape architects, is to enable the attainment of shared environmental goals that rest on a foundation of social sustainability.

She singled out Kenyan’s habit of doing only what is compulsory and thus choosing to forego advice from qualified people if they are not needed to prove it.

She expressed concern about the prevalence of people masquerading as professionals in the construction industry.

They call themselves architects, engineers but they are not qualified. The public needs to know that professionals are registered by regulatory bodies," Nyole said.

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