In the face of climate change challenges around the world, architects are well-situated to ensure sustainable living conditions for people, Speaker of the House Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said yesterday at the inauguration of the five-day annual forum of Asian architects, the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA), at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
“Architecture is described as a social art, and architects have a major contribution to ensuring congenial environment for all of us,” she said.
The prediction is that by 2050, 64 percent of the developing world will be urbanised, she said, adding that this poses a new challenge to assuring better living conditions.
Rapid urbanisation, population growth, housing shortage, exclusion and growing inequality are all inextricably linked issues, said Chaudhury.
The biggest of its kind, this year’s ARCASIA conference in Dhaka deliberates on the theme of ‘Architecture in a Changing Landscape’ and marks golden jubilee of the apex body of architects in Asia.
Environment, climate change, sustainability, disaster risk management and urbanisation are discussed at this forum to find innovative ways of resolving and responding to the emerging challenges, said Chaudhury.
ARCASIA President Rita Soh said it is not only a professional duty but also moral responsibility of architects to create innovative and adaptive designs for future development -- in the face of rapid urbanisation and extreme weather conditions.
“We have to create a better environment for the future generations,” she said.
ARCASIA over the years has embraced the spirit of cooperation and unity among architects across Asia, she said.
Jalal Ahmed, president of Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) -- that is holding the prestigious regional forum -- said development in Bangladesh is happening in an unprecedented pace.
“We have to be cautious because development must be planned,” he said.
Over 1,500 architects, including 275 from 20 other Asian member countries, are taking part in the annual forum.
Noted Bangladeshi architect Shamsul Wares, Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim and architect Abu Sayeed M Ahmed, convener of this year’s ARCASIA conference, and noted architects from abroad, among others, spoke at the inauguration and during day-long discussions.
A series of events that the conference comprises of are aimed at promoting exchanges among architects and sustainable architectural practices in Asian countries.
The events include IAB Build Expo, exhibitions on photography, green architecture and Aga Khan Award winning projects at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, exhibition on architecture of Bangladesh at Manik Mia Avenue and at Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Smriti Park in Gulshan, architecture award ceremony, heritage walk for foreign guests and cultural programmes.
ARCASIA member countries include Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Macau, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia.