The UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals represent the aspiration of the people of the United Nations for a more sustainable future. The Goals define the challenges we need to address in order to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global problems we face together, including those related to
poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, health, peace and justice. The Goals are deeply interconnected, and, to leave no one behind, the world must move significantly towards achieving each Goal by 2030.
The built environment, planning, architecture and design interact with every goal. And most crucially: not just on an aspirational level or as future potential but through realised buildings, settlements and cities all over the world. Architectural solutions are already there, everywhere, contributing to sustainable communities and quality of life.
However, the built environment is also apart of the current challenges – a major consumer of energy and natural resources, and a producer of waste. Furthermore, how we build can exacerbate inequalities and affect health. That is why the Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation, the UIA Sustainable Development Goals Commission and the UIA World Congress of Architects 2023 have partnered to create a second volume of “An Architecture Guide to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals”. A first volume was published in
2018, and both volumes can be downloaded for free at the websites 8 9
To move towards the realisation of the Goals, we need many new solutions adapted to local climate, culture and challenges, and we need them not as ideas, but on the ground; implemented and in use. It is through realised buildings, settlements and planning that the effect is achieved both environmentally and humanely.
This publication is dedicated to the architecture students who will shape the future of architecture, planning and design; to the politicians who will aid them by understanding the intersections between architecture and the Goals; and to all citizens, professionals and institutions who join in the collective challenge ahead – to address social needs while protecting the planet.
On behalf of the Editorial Committee