At Scapeworks, we take pride in promoting a better environment in the Middle East.
However, as we thrive to apply artistic and scientific principles to the design/management of natural and built environments, there is only so much we can do as a standalone studio.
As the landscape architecture practice slowly unfolds in the region, there is a need for collective realization among concerned professionals that extensive opportunities lie in unity. It starts by regrouping, spreading the word about our field of work and awakening the masses on the need to transform the current approach to changing local landscapes.
It is about time to bridge the gap and regulate the profession by passing regulatory codes at different governmental levels, resulting in the need for almost every project, whether public or private, to conform to environmental protection and design quality standards.
We believe that this is no longer wishful thinking, since the first step towards such an ambitious project has been achieved by dedicated landscape architects who founded LELA, the Lebanese Landscape Association. It aims to “serve as a hub for landscape architecture professionals and academics, students and researchers to discourse landscape in Lebanon and the Mashreq, to demonstrate the value and significance of landscape’s multifunctional framework in realizing sustainable development and securing quality living in villages, towns and cities in the region.”
Officially co-founded in 2015 by Dr. Jala Makhzoumi, Dr. Salma Samaha and Eng. Nayla Al-Akl., LELA was granted official affiliation to the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architecture).
This is great news for the profession in the region, especially considering that Lebanon is the first country in the Arab Mashreq to secure the IFLA membership certificate.
We have big hopes that this baby step represents the first milestone in affirming landscape architecture as a recognized profession in the Middle East, regulating its educational background and asserting certain standards to the quality of our natural and designed environment.