Humanity is facing a myriad of exceptional problems. Climate scientists, demographers, and development economists have long alerted the world about them: With the rising temperatures already affecting vulnerable communities, climate change is the single biggest challenge threat to sustainable development. A significant body of research shows that those who will take the worst hit will be the poorer countries, many of which are already facing challenges for a sustainable due to limited infrastructure and poverty.
In the meantime, the world population will reach 10 billion by 2050, with most of the births taking place in Africa and Asia. The combination of rapid population growth and the global challenges of skyrocketing urbanization conceives an ever-growing list of new needs.
All in all, as we are entering a new decade, global societies are confronting unprecedentedly complex and vehemently urgent problems. Throughout the 2020s, the need for growth and development is crystal-clear. Yet, the necessity to do so in a sustainable manner is even more imperative.
Envisioning 2030: A Call to Action
Exceptional problems require exceptional solutions. To find the delicate balance between growing without sabotaging the future, the United Nations identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Targeting issues like health, hygiene, and fundamental human rights, these goals aim to change the global picture of injustices by 2030 completely.
Addressing these urgencies, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a Decade of Action starting in 2020.
“We know the great task before us. We need all hands on deck. We need to move together, leaving no one behind,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement. It was a plea for governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to join forces to fight global injustices.
“Governments, north and south, have begun integrating the [SDGs] into national plans and strategies. The private sector is coming to understand that green business is good business,” he added.
Constructing a Sustainable World
There’s no doubt that infrastructure, smarter cities, and architectural solutions are the lynchpin to achieve the SDGs and unlock tremendous global potential. Among the priorities for sustainable development is Goal #9 to build resilient infrastructure and Goal #11 to create safe and sustainable cities.
Nevertheless, infrastructure and high-quality human settlements are over-arching themes in sustainable development. From efficient hospitals to decent work conditions, there’s not a single SDG which doesn’t have an overlap with excellent infrastructure and buildings.
Hence, here at dormakaba, we are delighted to respond to Mr. Guterres’ striking call with our campaign #AccessForTheFuture. Throughout 2020 and beyond, we’ll be joining his proposed Decade of Action to champion sustainable development. Focusing on what we know best, we’ll highlight many facets of the tangible link between constructing the best buildings possible and sustainable development to spark a debate within the industry.
How will new technologies change the game for construction? Is there a relationship between the design of a hospital and its medical outcomes? How can good urban design boost women’s status? To what degree will the rise of remote work keep changing the nature of offices? What solutions will the cities in the Global South find to accommodate the rapidly rising populations?
In alignment with the global sustainable development agenda, #AccessForTheFuture will attempt to answer these questions and more.