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  • World Architecture Day 2009

    Events and Awards

    Text: György Szegő

    Architecture of the Future

    On October 6th we are celebrating World’s Architecture Day, which is also the UN’s World Habitat Day drawing people’s attention to the situation of cities and settlements, the issues of humane living conditions and the responsibilities of architects, town- and city-planners, decisionmakers of the artificial environment since 1986.
    Architecture and regional-urban policy tend to be intertwined more and more closely, whilst architecture is about to be one of the chief factors in sustainability simultaneously with the social, economic and environmental changes. This is why World’s Architecture Day has special significance drawing attention to architecture now at the intersection of creation, taking responsibility and building the future.
    In 2009 UN chose this topic for World Habitat Day:„Planning the future of cities, the reconsideration of urban development regarding the new challenges of the 21st century”. This theme is important now as new and powerful compulsions exert their influence on towns and urban settlements now all over the world. Effects of climate changes, the gradual exhaustion of natural resources, the lack of food safety, the growth of population and the lack of economic stability are more and more manifest both in developed and developing countries, in towns and smaller settlements. These factors are about to radically transform towns and cities in the next decades, both in the physical and social sense. Besides, urbanization is intensifying in many developing countries, which results in even more negative consequences: overpopulation, poverty, slums are the threatening perspectives of an ever increasing number of town-dwellers in rapidly developing cities. More than half of the Earth’s population now lives in cities, and this tendency will go on intensifying in the life of the next two generations. There is no doubt that the challenges of cities will be the most burning issues governments, local authorities and NGOs have to face. In many parts of the world urban systems of function and operation are not suited even for today’ conditions, not to mention the ongoing development of 21st-century cities. All this will result in the widening of the fields of activities architecture is to take on, which naturally involves increasing and intensifying responsibilities.

    Recognition and Acknowledgement

    As a result of a more broadening social acknowledgement of architecture the sense of responsibility may as well start to exert influence. Those able to produce something excellent in this highly complex profession deserve recognition, which in the „critical mass” shall yield the social respect desired. Architecture tends to be more and more of a society-shaping force, the survival or disappearance of communities depends on the value-based approach and attitudes of architects-designers. In the 20th century it was settled that built forms would not be defined by technology and function alone. The spiritual value and individuality as the contribution by architects has a decisive role. We would like to draw the attention of the wider public to this century-old realization when taking a stand for the acknowledgement of the architect’s trade on World’s Architecture Day. The privileged moments of this mean that we are celebrating creators of remarkable buildings frequently proven to be masterpieces with awards and prizes of their professions and arts.