By Sarah Katz
The sustainability aspect of buildings is not simply seen as an environmental consideration. “We experience that sustainability measures in buildings not only make good sense for the environment, but also contribute to the well-being of building users,” Lars Riemann, Executive Director, Buildings, said at a panel session on building Healthy Cities in New York last week. “This in turn increases a building’s commercial attractiveness and viability.”
The panel session was one contribution of many during Archtober, a whole month dedicated to the importance of architecture and design in everyday life in New York.
Underlining that design and human health go hand-in-hand, a trans-Atlantic focus on making cities healthier to live in by design is ramping up these years. As a Nordic contribution to the design and health relation, Nordic Sustainable Cities, a flagship project in the Nordic Prime Ministers’ new initiative “Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges”, offers strong best practices from a region historically known for integrating public health in the built environment.
During the event, organised by Danish Cleantech Hub in collaboration with The Nordic Consulates General in New York on Thursday 5 October, Lars Riemann contributed to the discussion on how to create healthy and liveable buildings, drawing on Nordic experience and best practice.
“To fully appreciate the human approach in relation to Buildings and how it improves quality of life, it’s important to understand from an engineering perspective the three interlinked dimensions that contribute to liveability”. Riemann explained:” As an example, the social dimension refers to interactions between humans in the building and its surroundings. And here we are looking to encourage development of Buildings that support social services & welfare, local economy and identity, easy and green mobility for all groups, resilience and flexibility”.