Architects’ Council of Europe Conference on ‘Climate Change & Built Heritage’
In April 2021, the Union’s co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law, which, or the first time, enshrines in the EU legislation the objective of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In order to reach this objective, legislators have set the intermediary target to cut Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
Urgent and bold actions targeting the built environment are indispensable for meeting our climate ambitions. Indeed, our living and working spaces are responsible for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the energy consumption in the EU. Yet, in today’s Europe, 75 % of buildings are not energy efficient, mostly because a large part of the existing building stock was constructed before building codes were in place.
The Architects’ Council of Europe promotes a holistic approach towards the built environment – an approach that, beyond energy efficiency considerations, seeks to create economic, social, environmental and cultural value through the built environment, for the benefit of all. At the same time, renovations strategies should aim to both optimise the energy performance of buildings and preserve and enhance the quality of the built environment. Particular attention should be paid to our built heritage, whether it is listed heritage or not.
In anticipation of COP26 that will take place in November in Glasgow, the Architects’ Council of Europeorganised a public conference, on Thursday 28 October in Brussels to discuss the solutions that a high-quality architecture can offer to mitigate climate change and help our society to adapt its effects. It focused on the mindset and attitude towards the built environment that is required to initiate quality planning processes– a prerequisite for the design of low-carbon and climate resilient buildings, public spaces and cities. The event was designed as an opportunity to discuss ongoing EU policy initiatives (EU Climate Law, Renovation Wave strategy, New European Bauhaus), as well as city and landscape planning, mobility, circular economy, re-use of the heritage – through some architectonically excellent projects.
Steffi Schueppel, IFLA Europe representative and a member of bdla Germany, presented landscape architecture projects from the exhibition of projects in 7 categories: urban transformation – sustainable housing – re-use – mobility – renaturalisation – revitalisation – urban climate.
Dr Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President and president of Panhellenic Association of Landscape Architects PHALA Greece, addressed the participants on behalf of IFLA Europe and emphasised the role of Landscape Architects in climate change and built heritage.
Speaker’s presentations are available on the ACE website here.