Architects Advocate

CHICAGO ARCHITECTS LAUNCH MOVEMENT FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Architecture and design professionals partner to advocate for climate change legislation

Today, after 6 weeks of grass roots outreach and coordination, a group of Chicago architecture firms is launching an online initiative called Architects Advocate: Action on Climate Change. The initiative is a public outreach campaign that gives voice to an important issue that affects healthy and livable communities and cities. It has attracted 74 architecture firms, predominantly from Chicago, and 7 design industry related companies. In the coming weeks, the initiative is intended to extend to architects throughout the USA, and other professional groups will be invited to join the advocacy effort as well.

Climate change has yielded dramatic, potentially irreversible changes to our communities. The core of our effort is the belief that a healthy environment is a civil right, that we need to enact meaningful legislation to mitigate Climate Change, and that architects need to publicly speak out on behalf of this goal by sharing their knowledge and actions creating livable communities.

The campaign name “Architects Advocate” allows other professional groups such as Engineers Advocate, Manufacturers Advocate, and Contractors Advocate to easily adopt the messaging. This is an important element, as it is anticipated that there will be interest among other professional groups in the construction industry to support this initiative.

Peter Exley, a Chicago Architect whose firm was the first to join the campaign and who was involved with the launch as well, points to the important role of science in architectural design:

“The scientific community is clear about what is good for people and the environment. With this accumulated knowledge and our experience, architects create places and communities that are healthy and livable. The architecture community is on the front line addressing Climate Change in a meaningful way. For everyone, we believe this is THE challenge and opportunity of our time. The Architects Advocate collaboration reinforces all architects’ commitment to designing prosperous and verdant communities, and securing the future for coming generations through architecture.”

The near term goals of the initiative are twofold: make the voices of the architecture community heard by the general public and those who are entrusted to legislate and govern, and to keep growing the movement. Initiative supporters are encouraged to speak out and to share their stories on social and print media, as well as to appear on radio and TV shows.

Paul Tebben