About the conference

The conference is organized in collaboration with EU Horizon 2020 ‘Buildings as Material Banks’ Project and aims at addressing the many inter-related aspects of green design of cities, buildings and products, from urban strategies to social cohesion, design for reconfiguration and reuse design for change, sustainable energy strategies.

It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. According to the UN Habitat, that is set to rise to 60% in a couple of decades. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for green design of built environments. Cities are responsible for around 65 percent of all energy used, 60 percent of all water consumed and 70 percent of all greenhouse gases produced worldwide. The exponential increase in population and contemporaneous increase in standard of living for many, will mean that the demand for essential goods & services (transportation, cars, planes, housing, materials, water and food) will increase by at least a factor of 2 in the next few decades.

A report by the World Resource Institute predicts a 300% rise in material use, as world population and economic activity increases over the next 50 years. Raw materials supplies are gradually diminishing and becoming more expensive, landfill sites are filling up resulting in increased disposal fees and making the waste management expensive.

The complex systemic and multi-scalar capacities of cities provide massive potential for a broad range of positive interactions with natural ecosystems.