Social Equity

Creating physical spaces where people thrive

Architecture and design is a means of improving quality of life

Sustainable development in the realm of the built environment and infrastructures would mean nothing without proper consideration of the very core purpose of architectural design: creating the physical environment into which people live and thrive, through interaction with the habitat but also amongst themselves.

LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for Middle East Africa prize handover ceremony, Nairobi

Architecture is not just about building. It's a means of improving people’s quality of life! Francis Kéré

The 2018 Pritzker Prize Balkrishna Doshi writes about and embodies the concept of “Architecture for the People” in his projects. The meaning of which is the full appreciation of the local architectural traditions and crafts, while sustainably improving the local socio-economic conditions. Catering for people in architecture means first and utmost a respectful relationship with place.

The first ever Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction on “Basic Needs”, held at the ETH Zurich in 2004 encompassed the environmental as well as social dimension of sustainability. The Forum united experts and students from all over the world to take part in “workshops, debates, and lectures on a wide variety of topics surrounding housing, water supplies and road access, as essential elements of society's infrastructure”. The Forum has generated consensus on the statement that People is one of the pillars upon which sustainable construction is based. And addressing inequalities through architectural design is paramount to create the conditions for sustainable development.

Designing for communities through the lens of equity means enabling humans to face life with improved opportunities. Architecture can be a powerful tool for social and political transformation, and an effective advocate for sustainable renovation.