HOW CAN
ARCHITECTURE
CONTRIBUTE TO
THE UN 17 GOALS?

Architectural solutions are already here, everywhere, contributing to sustainable communities and quality of life. However, the built environment is also a part of the current challenges – a major consumer of energy and natural resources, and producer of waste. Architecture, in every scale from design to city planning and landscape, interacts with every Goal. Not just as future potential, but through existing designs, buildings, cities and landscapes all over the world.

View over Copenhagen, photography by Daniel Rasmussen

Architecture represents both enormous potential and responsibility. How we think and develop architecture can determine the impact on climate change, the access to natural resources, the fundamental conditions for biodiversity and the quality of life for people. Our responsibility is to incorporate The UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals into all our architectural practices, using what we know, working together and challenging the existing practices.

THE UN 17 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

No Poverty

More than 700 million people, or 10% of the world population, still live in extreme poverty and are struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like hea…

Zero Hunger

It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all …

Good Health and Well-Being

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Quality Education

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development. In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive edu…

Gender Equality

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access t…

Clean Water and Sanitation

Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in, and there is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve thi…

Affordable and Clean Energy

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or …

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day with global unemployment rates of 5.7%, and having a job doesn’t…

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable deve…

Reduced Inequalities

The international community has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty. The most vulnerable nations – the least developed cou…

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to ad…

Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure and providing access to basic ser…

Climate Action

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities…

Life Below Water

The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater…

Life on Land

Forests cover 30.7 per cent of the Earth’s surface and, in addition to providing food security and shelter, they are key to combating climate change, …

Peace, Justice and Strong Institution

The threats of international homicide, violence against children, human trafficking and sexual violence are important to address to promote peaceful a…

Partnerships for the Goals

A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnersh…

ARCHITECTURAL CASE STUDIES

The architectural case studies give examples of how the built environment interacts with each Goal. All cases are realised architectural projects, planning initiatives, structures and designs. In the Case Studies, each case is connected to one Goal. In reality, many of the cases address more than one goal. The purpose of the case studies is to form a basis of understanding of how architecture can contribute to achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

CASE STUDIES Tingbjerg Library and Culture House, Denmark
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