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16 February 2023 | Posted by angela.tuduri

On the road to sustainability – Agenda 2030

Sustainability makes the architectural and construction industry of green cities meaningful.

Lowering carbon emissions, inequality and poverty, among others, are the main issues being addressed from the global framework.   

In 2023, the focus on sustainability has been driven by the growing awareness and importance of protecting the environment by ensuring a sustainable future for future generations. 

Sustainable architecture can significantly reduce these emissions using efficient and renewable materials and technologies. In this post, we explore the trends and latest developments in sustainability this year, as well as the importance of Agenda 2030 on the path to a more sustainable future in the architectural sector.   

Want to know more? 

Future belongs to a sustainable world  

It has become a mantra for many people and organizations committed to preserving the environment and building a more just and equitable society.  

As we raise the tipping points in climate change and other global environmental challenges, more and more people are recognizing the urgent need to change our development model and drive sustainable growth.  

But what does sustainability really mean and how can we make this vision a reality?  

Agenda 2030  

The 2030 Agenda is a global action plan adopted by the United Nations in 2015.  

The drafting plan was the result of a long negotiation process involving governments, public, private sector organizations, etc., at national and international levels, aware of the critical situation facing the world.  

The agenda was created based on broad citizen consultation and participation through global and regional consultations, online surveys and other methods. Aiming to reconcile economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection, the Agenda has a cross-cutting focus on gender equality and the protection and promotion of human rights, with an emphasis on the participation and empowerment of people and communities.  

Central to the 2020-2030 decade is the need for action to address growing poverty, empower women and girls, and address the climate emergency"

- United Nations Organization

With 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda sets out an ambitious plan to address the most important challenges we face and improve the lives of people around the world. Some of the most relevant SDGs include eradicating poverty, ensuring quality education, gender equality and protecting the environment.  

The 2030 Agenda is a global call to action that requires the participation of all countries and sectors, working together to address the most important challenges we face, with the goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.  

This call to action recognizes the interdependence and interconnectedness of global challenges and the need to work in collaboration and solidarity to achieve meaningful change.  

In conclusion, sustainability is a critical issue in 2023 and the 2030 Agenda is a key framework for addressing the most important challenges and ensuring a more sustainable future for all.  

Architecture as a driver for the 2030 Agenda  

Architecture plays a key role in the transition to a more sustainable society and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda:  

  1. Sustainable buildings: buildings generate a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. From this perspective, sustainable architecture can significantly reduce these emissions through the use of efficient and renewable materials and technologies. Some of these technologies include solar energy, natural lighting, efficient HVAC systems and waste management.  

Technology and innovation play a crucial role in the transition to a more sustainable economy. Renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture and waste management are just a few examples of how technology can help address environmental challenges and ensure a more sustainable future.  

  1. Sustainable urban design: Sustainable urban planning and design can also improve people's quality of life while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, planning compact and accessible cities can reduce car dependency and promote sustainable mobility.  

The integration of green spaces and the planning of green areas can improve air quality and biodiversity.  

  1. Building reuse and retrofitting: Reusing and rehabilitating existing buildings is a sustainable strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of construction. Instead of demolishing existing buildings and constructing new ones, architecture can improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of existing buildings through renovation and retrofitting.  

Sustainable architecture is a key element in the transition to a more sustainable society and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  

SDGs in architecture  

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy: Architecture can contribute to affordable and clean energy by implementing renewable technologies such as solar and wind energy. Buildings can also reduce their energy consumption with efficient materials and technologies.  

  • SDG 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure: Architecture can contribute to industry, innovation and infrastructure by implementing innovative solutions such as smart buildings and modular construction. These solutions can improve energy efficiency, reduce construction costs and improve people's quality of life.  

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities: Architecture can contribute to sustainable cities and communities by designing public spaces, integrating green spaces and promoting sustainable mobility. Sustainable urban planning and design can improve people's quality of life while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action: Architecture can contribute to climate action by implementing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Sustainable architecture can significantly reduce building emissions by efficient and renewable materials and technologies.  

  • SDG 17 - Partnerships to achieve the goals: Architecture can contribute to partnerships to achieve the goals through collaboration between different actors, including governments, businesses, non-profit organizations and civil society. Collaboration can improve the effectiveness of solutions and promote an integrated approach to addressing key challenges.  

Architecture can contribute significantly to the goals of the 2030 Agenda through the implementation of sustainable solutions and collaboration with different actors.  

Towards a sustainable architecture: La Salle-URL students' project in El Salvador 

At La Salle-URL, they actively participate in the development of projects that promote sustainability. The year before the pandemic (2018), an agreement was made with the metropolitan entity of El Salvador for the realization of a sustainable building guide.  

The project, aims to analyze from different points of view the capacity to develop a sustainable building plan for the city of San Salvador (El Salvador), helping to identify specific opportunities and challenges in the implementation of more sustainable practices for the construction of green buildings in that area.  

A sustainable building guide, for a particular city, can be an important step in promoting more sustainable practices in building construction and design"

- OPAMSS

Three students from La Salle-URL's Master's Degree in Integrated Construction Management: Sustainability and Efficiency had the opportunity to participate in the creation of the sustainable building guide and offer, from their perspective, green solutions that can help build a more sustainable San Salvador in the long term. Among these solutions, they included aspects such as the use of sustainable materials in buildings, energy efficiency, waste reduction...  

Ileana María Osorio Palomo, head of the Large Urban Projects Management Unit at OPAMSS (Planning Office of the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador) participated and collaborated as chief architect in its development. The new edition of the Sustainable Building Guide includes the solutions offered by the students.  

Studies in green architecture  

If you want to train as a professional in architectural and urban design and specialize in strategic sustainability criteria to be a key player in improving interventions in the territory, discover the programs that favor sustainability and encourage the development of new sustainable plans.  

At La Salle-URL we offer training related to sustainable architecture designed to prepare students to face the environmental challenges of today's world.  

We encourage the creation of sustainable and energy-efficient architectural solutions that minimize the environmental impact of buildings. Students will learn to apply sustainable design principles, such as the use of renewable energy, maximizing natural light and the use of sustainable materials.  

La Salle-URL's programs in sustainable architecture are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the current and future challenges of sustainable architecture. 

FIND OUT ABOUT SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE PROGRAMS

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