GREEN SHIFT - Visions for Sustainable Living
The sphere of activity of architects has steadily grown in recent decades. The profession is faced with an ever wider range of responsibilities, which reach far beyond spatial, functional and purely aesthetic issues. International protest movements (Fridays for Future) have led to a recognition of the urgent need to address the climate crisis, which can be felt everywhere. Climate protection is the starting point for a broad rethink that is involving every area of life and, in particular, every sector of the economy.
The built environment and, above all, the building industry, can create new momentum here. Natural cycles must be incorporated into architecture in line with the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and the lifecycles of buildings must be considered from the ecological, economic and social perspectives. Hence, the long-term protection of the environment and the climate, not least as a high-quality habitat for humans and animals, is one of the most urgent objectives of modern architecture.
At the same time, the urban population and the need for living space are growing, while the demands that residents place on this living space are being influenced by factors such as digitalisation, automation, mobility and our aging society. In the context of digital networking, social sustainability, smart cities and climate care, we must investigate the innovative potential and problem-solving capacity of architecture and adopt visionary perspectives and experimental design approaches that address the challenges of the urban realm in 2050.
This raises countless questions:
How can modern architecture best react to the ecological challenges of our time? What does energy-saving and energy-efficient architecture look like? Are there solutions that combine ecological sustainability with innovative building technology?
How can we guarantee the long-term protection of the environment and the climate in a constantly growing city? How do we achieve the transformation from a linear to a circular construction process? How can architecture use natural materials to minimise or offset any adverse impact on the environment? Which innovative technologies can be used here?
How can innovative mobility concepts be integrated into the planning of cities? Which solutions enable us to create a city with minimum travel distances?
Which needs must be met by future living spaces against the background of changing living conditions, new everyday cultures and an increasingly diverse society (multi-local or temporary living, individualisation and the sharing economy, etc.)?
How sustainable is the existing urban building stock? Which opportunities can be developed for temporarily using or repurposing this stock, in order to reinvigorate it and reduce vacancy rates? How, in general, can the lifespan of buildings be extended?
How can future housing respond to social mix and diversity and permit a reasonable level of flexibility of use?