Get the built environment working properly and sort out the Climate & Ecological Emergency

Research output: Other contribution


2019 feels like a very long time ago, and definitely a different world away. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us humans across Planet Earth to completely change the way we operate in the short, medium, and perhaps the longer terms. Despite the dreadful numbers of people dying, the complete collapse of many corporations and multinational industries, lockdown has allowed many people the opportunity to breathe clean air, see whole mountain ranges for the first time, and hear bird song. The rest of the natural world is appreciating this pause from the normal ravenous appetites we have for consuming raw materials to make stuff which tends to get thrown away – all in the name of the twin corporate gods of growth and progress.

Can I ask you to think back to 2019 again for a moment? You may remember that there had been another major shift in humankind’s focus of attention. 2019 was the year that over 1,330 jurisdictions, national and local governments, declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. This means that over 814,000,000 people are currently represented by regional governments who have made this declaration. And it doesn’t stop there, these very same regional governments have then enshrined into law hugely ambitious Net-Zero Carbon targets varying from 2027 (not likely) through to the more realistic, but still requiring a huge change in behaviour, 2050. Some national governments have now followed suite.
Original languageEnglish
TypeOpinion Piece considering the potential for the built environment to have a positive impact on the natural world
Media of outputIcarus Complex - digital magazine
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • climate action
  • climate emergency
  • sustainable architecture
  • Circular economy (CE)
  • reused buildings
  • resource management
  • Retrofitting
  • Social justice
  • climate justice


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