Symbolically signed by Norman Foster and Stefano Boeri, two of the world’s most famous (and environmentally sensitive) architects, the San Marino Declaration includes a set of “Principles for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Design and Architecture”. These guidelines span all stages of conceiving and implementing urban buildings and developments, improving on our multi-millennial model of the city.
“At this time in the history of the human species on this planet, architects and urban planners have the vital responsibility of minimizing carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption, maximizing renewable energy capture devices, integrating increasing shares of biological and planted surfaces into buildings, and adapting to a sustainable, electrified mobility model based on the public transportation system,” Boeri said. “We’ll be taking this statement to COP27 in Sharm El Sheik in November as an appeal to architects, and are committed to gathering as many signatories as possible.”
These guidelines were inspired by core value compliance with the housing and environmental standards promoted in the charter, seeking out efficiencies and circularity and, all the while, taking into consideration the local cultural identity. At all times, architects and other urban planning and construction professionals must consider the impact their work has on community well-being. They are encouraged to adopt a human-centered approach, listening to individual and collective needs, and integrating diversity.
On the technical front, the guidelines limit energy and natural resource consumption through reuse and recycling wherever possible, reusing rainwater and encouraging zero-mile food production in urban gardens, orchards and edible forests (a.k.a. “food forests”: artificial ecosystems with a variety of plant and animal species that function autonomously, requiring no maintenance or regular intervention).
Climate neutrality is pursued through urban design and redevelopment, integrating clean energy systems directly into buildings and adopting “creative solutions to reduce pollution and energy consumption”. For planners, this new environmental consciousness requires undertaking meticulous ecological impact assessments at the preliminary stage of all projects, allocating space for greenery and urban biodiversity, and ensuring pedestrian accessibility and/or the availability of sustainable transportation. The charter also addresses building and infrastructure resilience to withstanding the extreme weather events that are increasingly likely to affect even temperate zones like Europe.