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GlobalABC events & regional roundtables

COP26 #BuildingsPavilion - Urban Sequoia (SOM)


Buildings Pavilion - The Climate Pledge Theater (Hall 5)

COP26 #BuildingsPavilion - Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day

Watch the recording of the event :

Place: Buildings Pavilion - The Climate Pledge Theatre (Hall 5)

Time: 13:00 - 14:00 GMT


On Thursday, 11 November at COP26, the global interdisciplinary design firm, SOM presented a game-changing concept. The proposal, presented by Kent Jackson and Mina Hasman, makes the built environment a solution to the climate crisis, rather than part of the problem. The central proposition of Urban Sequoia is that the built environment can absorb carbon. SOM’s proposal transforms buildings into solutions—radically rethinking how buildings and cities are designed and constructed. It is a viable solution that could have a far-reaching impact, with the potential to create a circular economy that absorbs, stores and exchanges carbon as a new resource. Full details are available on and from


On the occasion of COP26's Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP is organizing a session on 'Urban Sequoia' in GlobalABC's #BuildingsPavilion.

Deep and sustained reductions from global emissions present the only possibility to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The latest IPCC report urges the speediness of reduction needed, and highlights that it can take 20-30 years for global temperatures to stabilise. Considering this, the built environment must rapidly shift from carbon-emitting to sequestering. A systemic approach where synergies are drawn between innovative designs, nature- and science-based solutions, and integrated processes can offer the transferable, as well as scalable solutions we all need. Buildable today, ‘Urban Sequoia’ looks to the future, and presents tangible solutions where buildings – similar to sequoia trees – actively sequester more carbon than they emit.


  • Kent Jackson, Partner, SOM
  • Mina Hasman, Senior Associate Principal, Sustainability Lead, SOM