In April 2019, at the Steering Committee meeting of the UIA Commission on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the International Union of Architects adopted the Dhaka Declaration on the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Dhaka Declaration encourages architects and all other professionals to take action in their own practices.
The Dhaka Declaration
“Over the last few decades, tremendous progress has been made in improving the health, education, and well-being of people around the world. However, this development has been accompanied by environmental damage, climate change, and resource depletion, as well as social and cultural challenges. In 2015, the nations of the world came together and laid out the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030.
Architecture has an impact on each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and architects can help the goals to be achieved. As architects, we have the responsibility to contribute to the built environment and make choices that change the world for the better—through better buildings, settlements, landscape architecture and urban planning.
We call on architects worldwide to take action in their own practice, and as civic leaders, to shape their work and their words to help achieve these goals."
Architects can seek to build in ways that help to eradicate poverty, by designing low-cost housing and institutional spaces that are safe, healthy, and resilient.
Architects can, through planning, landscape, and building design, protect ecosystems and preserve areas for food production.
Good Health and Well-Being
Architects can design to reduce exposure to communicable diseases and pollution, provide daylight, good acoustics and air quality, and promote healthy levels of activity.
Architects can design educational facilities that are affordable and inclusive.
Architects can help shape buildings, settlements and urban areas to include all persons, regardless of gender, and can work to promote gender equality in the design and construction industry.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Architects can design in ways to avoid water waste or excessive runoff, and to reduce the encroachment of saltwater on freshwater aquifers and bodies.
Affordable and Clean Energy
Architects can incorporate renewable energy production in buildings and settlements designed for low energy use by adapting to local geographic, climatic and cultural conditions.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Architects can specify building materials produced in safe and clean environments, and work to ensure fair and safe conditions in construction and demolition processes.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Architects can seek to use services, products and systems that pollute less, use less energy, produce less waste, and provide solutions that are safe, healthy and affordable.
Architects can promote design and planning approaches that are socially responsible, inclusive, and accommodate the needs of all people.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Architects can promote measures that help to make cities more inclusive, safer and more resilient, and adaptive to anticipated climate change, with special attention to vulnerable segments of society.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Architects can seek to design for durability and for sustainable life cycles in building components and materials, favouring renovation and the use of recycled materials.
Architects can reduce climate-changing emissions associated with the construction and operation of the buildings, and make their designs adaptable to anticipated changes in climate.
Life Below Water
Architects can exercise special care for buildings and settlements in coastal regions and in fragile aquatic ecosystems, and ensure that runoff and construction waste does not lead to water pollution.
Life on Land
Architects can promote urban development that minimizes sprawl, reduces threats to biodiverse habitats, and can integrate landscapes that provide habitat and connect with larger ecosystems.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institution
Architects can design in ways that embody our higher values, can involve the public, promote inclusion, and advocate for honest governance in practice.
Partnerships for the Goals
Architects can join with other professions, with civic institutions, and with fellow citizens, to advance the goals. Working together we can achieve a prosperous and sustainable future.
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