#TimeToWorry: Stop the nonsense! Let’s demand urgent sustainable policies for the construction industry - towards a climate and culturally-sensible built environment
We all know the big numbers: The building sector accounts for over one third of gross annual CO2 emissions worldwide. Yet we keep on pretending we’ll be alright if we continue business as usual, by making it just a bit more sustainable and focusing on technology as the solution.
“Modern glass, steel and concrete architecture” has been a worldwide blueprint for a so-called modern built environment for too long. Mistaken as a symbol of progress and prosperity. So now we wear sweaters in summer in over-air-conditioned offices while our world and cities get hotter every year? We need to stop believing that technology is a solution — it can try to fix the symptoms but it won’t erase the cause. For way too long we have abeen ignoring aspects such as local culture and climate. We need to act now to avoid future unbearable, stifling and unhealthy urban environments.
It’s time for radical rethinking.
We must drastically change the laws and regulations shaping our built environment. Because focusing on single measures of energy efficiency to avoid significant negative effects on our climate and health isn’t enough. From now on, we have to look at the effects and focus on radical reduction of embodied and operational carbon emissions!
Sign this petition now to demand a built environment that makes sense through regulations and laws that follow these key sustainability principles:
- Build homes and neighborhoods for people — rather than real estate cash cows with incalculable waste: upgrade the sustainability of a building before it can get sold
- Favor a built environment that can be used for a long time — instead of quick & cheap construction: life-cycle assessment must be mandatory for building permits and energy monitoring during operation is key to optimize and further reduce emissions during the use of the buildings
- Support passive and low-tech building design and solutions on a building and a city scale: sufficiency as a driver instead of a technology-driven efficiency
- Stop wasting resources: set quotas for locally-sourced, re-used and biogenic materials contributing to CO2 reduction
- Put all efforts into a better utilization and sustainable transformation of the existing building stock and public spaces: all funding for sustainable buildings and cities has to go into the existing building stock and into adaptation measures on the neighborhood scale
With great impact comes great responsibility. The construction industry needs to change now.
Let’s show politicians and decision-makers all over the world what people really want from their cities and homes. By giving a voice to those who have and want to live, work, learn, play and enjoy living in a built environment, we can make the urgently needed change and unite for a healthy, safe and truly sustainable environment. Let’s finally fulfill the Paris Agreement goals! The building sector might be the only one where climate and culturally-sensible architecture leads to a high-quality built environment, while at the same time drastically reducing carbon emissions. Not just in studies and theoretical calculations but in the real world where the impact can and must be measured!
We all know the feeling after spending a full day indoors: the urge to go outside. Let’s make sure we are healthy when being inside, and can still enjoy going outside. With a built environment that truly has in mind the respect of our whole environment. Sign this for joyful, healthy living. Now.