World Architecture Day 2018
Monday, 1 October
Architects, like all other citizens, aspire to build a better world to leave as a bequest for generations to come. It is sometimes said that, in the future, our children are going to live less well than we do. This idea is not acceptable ethically and no-one should resign themself to it.
Over against the so-called “pessimism of reason” we need to nurture, as Gramsci put it, the “optimism of the will”, turning that will into projects, and the projects, in turn, into actions capable of building a better world.
In this respect, over the last few years a global movement has been gaining momentum, given impetus by the United Nations and with the majority consensus of almost all the countries it comprises, to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals -SDGs-, with Agenda 2030 as a global strategy and the different Urban Agendas for carrying it out. In this way, a collective project for the future for our planet is built.
The steps necessary to more forward in that direction lead us to provide an answer to climate change; to incorporate new technologies and digitisation; to respond to the rapid change in lifestyles and ways of working; to adapt to new safety, health and mobility requirements and redefine the use of physical and virtual public space. All these matters hinge inevitably on transforming, renovating and regenerating our cities, neighbourhoods, public spaces, buildings and housing.
Our built heritage, that came into existence in times very different to today, has become a brake, as it is the result of needs and ways of life and working that are no longer ours, consuming, in addition, resources that we do not have. Transforming and preparing it for new needs is undoubtedly a formidable challenge and our best opportunity to build a better environment and a better future.
Architecture has mechanisms for turning this utopia into a reality. This was made clear by the DAVOS Declaration which sets out to improve the quality of the built environment and was signed this year by the Ministers of Culture and Heads of Delegations of countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention and by Council of Europe observer states.
We ARCHITECTS, who are aware of the challenge we face and of the role that our work has to play, express our commitment and shoulder it as the core of our professional mission, in the conviction that ARCHITECTURE is going to contribute decisively, as it has done in other similar moments in history, to the construction of a BETTER WORLD.
Lluís Comerón Graupera