UIA Copenhague 2023

Audrey Sophie Ndongo
January 29, 2024

The 67th Congress of theInternational Union of Architects (UIA) took place from 02 to 06 July 2023 inCopenhagen. Held for the first time in Denmark, the Congress brought togethermore than 10,000 participants from 135 countries under the theme "A SustainableFuture - Leaving No One Behind", as a platform for sharing knowledgeacross borders and cultures within the architectural profession and amongarchitecture students.

As usual, ESSACA did not deviatefrom its participation in this 67th UIA Congress and was also keen to take partfrom 01 to 02 July 2023 in the World Student Summit opened as a prelude to theCongress, encouraged by the former President of the Union of Architects ofAfrica (UAA), the architect Tokumbo Omisore.

The Student Summit, masterfullyled by Korean architect So Young King from Hanyang University in Seoul,featured workshops, sessions and, above all, a competition between studentprojects on various themes relating to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDG 17). Our Master 2 student Marie-Ange Bonga Bonga brilliantly representedESSACA with a sustainable social housing project. The project, entitled 'Havrede Soa', is an urban rehousing project in the town of SOA, on the outskirts ofYaoundé, which also includes a permaculture training centre. The aim of theproject is to lend a helping hand to the modest inhabitants of SOA by offeringthem training and an introduction to a self-sufficient way of life, inparticular to self-help methods for the construction of modular, healthy andinexpensive dwellings, and to the principles of permaculture as a means ofcombating famine and poverty.  Theproject was supervised by ESSACA teachers Mr Inusa Ndam and Ms Sylvie TraoréDickson. Mr Kotto's speech at a workshop at the Congress highlighted the sameissues and the urgent need for action in this direction.

A final declaration entitled'Lessons from Copenhagen' summarises the resolutions of the Congress into thefollowing 10 militant principles for rapid and radical change in the builtenvironment:

01The dignity and agency of allpeople is fundamental to architecture, for there is no beauty in exclusion.

02: People at risk of being leftbehind must be considered first when we build, plan and develop the builtenvironment.

03: Existing structures shouldalways be reused as a priority.

04: No new development shouldobliterate green fields.

05: Natural ecosystems and foodproduction must be maintained independently of the built environment.

06: No virgin mineral materialsshould be used in construction where reuse is possible.

07: No waste should be producedor abandoned during construction.

08: When sourcing buildingmaterials, priority should be given to local renewable materials.

09: In everything we build,carbon capture must be greater than carbon footprint.

10: In the development, planning andconstruction of the built environment, every activity must have a positiveimpact on water ecosystems and clean water supplies.

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