Magazine / 4th Quarter 2020


The sustainability roadmap that emerged two decades ago has failed us. Yes, more buildings in Asia are certified Green. And yes, more professionals and developers now buy into the need for change. But the situation is escalating faster than the pace at which solutions are generated. There is also a substance gap here. Are things that we do the same as what must be done? We invited a panel of experts to tell us where we are, and if they see a fork in the path ahead. Here is a summary of what they say: It’s a systemic problem. We’ve grown accustomed to tinkering with parts; we need to tackle wholes. This means expanding the canvas beyond site and shell. It means fostering generosity. The architects at WOHA talk of generosity, how a project gives back to the neighbourhood, the city and the ecosystem. This does not obviate the case for building efficiency or occupant wellness; it adds a layer to what is already done. Critically, generosity is a clarion call to policymakers. System-wide changes will happen if there is a new DNA for urbanism and planning. This means raising the bar on planning and codes, and incentivising private actions that create public good....

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