Whether consciously or subconsciously, we know we live fuller, healthier lives when we are in a state of connection. As social creatures, we thrive in community, both with each other and the larger world around us. We know intuitively that when we operate from a place of connection our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health is bolstered and improved. It is when we are in connection that we operate at our highest potential.
This season’s Round Table, moderated by Real Eguchi, is a contemplative and unique conversation regarding our relationship with the broader landscape around us—our more-than-human kin. The participants offer diverse and reflective discussion on how we might begin to connect our ‘inner landscapes’ with the broader environment around us. It is an important reminder for a species that so often gets wrapped up in our own ego—we are inherently tied to these broader landscapes, and it is disconnection from the natural world around us which can cause deep disharmony within ourselves and our societies.
In many ways, our task as landscape architects is to design spaces which facilitate connection. We can achieve this through providing increased access to natural areas, or by bringing ecology back into the urban realm, but we can also leverage digital tools into order to create a connected cityscape which is more responsive, resilient, and equitable. The concept of the ‘Smart City,’ as well as our role in it as landscape architects, is discussed within this issue.
With increasing vaccination rates and easing restrictions across the province, as well as globally, we have been able to venture back into connection with those we’ve been isolated from over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. For me personally, I have been struck by a sincere depth of gratitude for the opportunity to connect with loved ones beyond the now-familiar virtual realm. Let us move forward, never forgetting the privilege and beauty of being in connection with one another.
Nadja Pausch, OALA, CSLA
Chair, Editorial Board