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GlobalABC events & regional roundtables

SBE22 Berlin: Transition Pathways Toward a Regenerative Built Environment

This virtual session - Transition Pathways Toward a Regenerative Built Environment takes place on 21 September 2022 from 11:30-13:00 CET within the framework of the SBE Berlin Conference – Built Environment within Planetary Boundaries. The session will be accessible to the public. Access from here


Building construction and operation represent the most significant source of anthropogenic environmental disturbance accounting for 39% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (Hertwich, 2021). By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion humans will live in cities – mostly in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (UN DESA, 2019). The unprecedented scale and pace of this urban growth will create an enormous demand for housing and urban infrastructure, which will double both the world’s building stock and floor area in the coming decades. If we continue to build using the strategies, practices, and technologies prevalent across the globe today, the environmental and social impacts will be devastating. Therefore, we urgently need to develop new building practices, together with a systematic rethinking of our cities - of urban life, urban form and structural organization - in order to address the climate and biodiversity crises and secure dignified living conditions for all species.

Minimizing harm in the sense of decarbonizing the building sector will thereby not suffice. We need to work towards a regenerative built environment that contributes to the restoration of our natural habitats and ecosystems – placing humans and nature at the center (Schurig & Turan, 2021). Bauhaus Earth defines a regenerative built environment as one that stores more carbon than it emits, through the consistent use of regionally available and sustainably managed bio-based materials, circular building practices and proactive efforts to restore and expand natural resources and ecosystems (e.g. (urban) forests or green spaces) both as preservations and sources of renewable materials. At the same time, a regenerative built environment is oriented towards the needs of its inhabitants, providing spatially just access to adequate housing as well as safe, walkable and mixed-use urban areas with inclusive public spaces (Organschi et al., 2022). This session, featuring speakers from different regions, will discuss systemic issues that arise in shaping the transition toward a regenerative built environment and explore the potential of a global cross-regional learning network. 

Contextualization and Moderation:

Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Managing Director, Bauhaus Earth & Franziska Schreiber, Senior Researcher, Bauhaus Earth, Germany


  • Nora Steurer, Programme Management Officer, GlobalABC/UNEP 
  • Dr. Naomi Keena, Founding Research Scientist, Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture, Yale University / Assistant Professor, McGill University Assistant Professor, Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University
  • Rezal Kusumaatmadja, COO, PT. Rimba Makmur Utama, Indonesia 
  • Dr. Philippa Tumubweinee, Senior Researcher, UCT School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, South Africa 
  • Margit Sichrovsky, Managing Director, LXSY, German