Declaration from the CSCAE — World Architecture Day 2022

Declaration from the CSCAE — World Architecture Day 2022

3 okt. 2022

The preamble of the constitutional text of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

80% of the social factors which influence health are outside the healthcare system. They depend on other factors. Among them, the features of our homes and the planning and layout of our towns and cities.

On World Architecture Day, architects want to emphasise the value of architectural design and urban planning to guarantee people’s wellbeing and improve individual and collective quality of life, transforming social realities and reducing inequalities. “Good architecture protects, develops and restores environmental, human, and animal health against diseases and reinforces the connection between the built environment and the natural environment”1.

The Covid19 pandemic revealed to us the importance of the places we live for our physical and mental health. Interior insulation, accessibility, housing dimensions, windows, whether there is a balcony or terrace or not, noise, the flexibility and functionality of spaces... All of this influences the health of the home and, by extension, people’s health, and so does our immediate environment. The design of streets and avenues, their accessibility and urban furniture, whether there are green spaces and sport and cultural facilitates or not, as well as sustainable urban mobility are aspect linked to the structure of our urban environments which condition and, in some cases, determine our health.

For this reason, on World Architecture Day, we emphasize the need for the restoration of homes and buildings and the regeneration of neighbourhoods under the European Next Generation funds. This must be undertaken with ambition and from an comprehensive and wide perspective so that the aid contributes to promoting the profound transformation that our building stock requires and benefits the greatest number of people.

The undeniable effects of climate change, and the energy crisis which the Russian war against Ukraine has provoked in Europe make it essential to reduce the polluting emissions generated by our building stock, which is responsible for 36% of greenhouse gases, and energy dependence. However, along with the reduction in demand and energy consumption, we must not forget to improve the accessibility of our buildings and neighbourhoods with actions to lead to the health and wellbeing of people and conserve the future of the planet and the individual features of our towns and buildings, because their idiosyncrasies form an indelible part of our collective identity.

The challenges are enormous, complex, and require the support of professionals, public administrations and private initiatives to plan and build the better future. A future which we all aspire to and which architects want to actively contribute to, with all our technical and humanistic knowledge to advance towards a healthier, fairer, and more sustainable society, without renouncing beauty, as prescribed by the Davos Declaration, the New European Bauhaus and the Architectural Quality Act.

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