0232 Global Moratorium on New Construction ×

“A Global Moratorium on New Construction” is an initiative that argues for the necessity of a drastic change to construction protocols: the suspension of new building activity. Articulated around a series of roundtables and events, the intent is to place architects and planners, but also industry actors, policy makers and citizens face to face with the role of construction in generating ongoing and untenable ecological and social injustice and to seek ways to take action.

It has become unmanageable to ignore the complicit role that design disciplines play in environmental degradation, social injustice, and climate crisis. Not only is new construction destructive, but it is also unnecessary.

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In 2050, the world population will plateau. Already, in countries where the generational renewal is no longer happening, scores of buildings stand empty, decaying. Yet and still, designers design, architects plan, planners envision — bathing in a contented delusion of design neutrality and powerlessness. This detachment is no longer tenable.

What Donna Haraway calls “the appropriation of nature as a resource for the productions of culture” and the translation of the Earth’s resources into the built environment and its economic model of development, is mirrored in today’s global neo-colonial modes of extraction capitalism. The consequences are visible — the wall is in sight.

A drastic change to global construction protocols is necessary: the suspension of new construction, now. Read less

2021 –
Olaf Grawert, Angelika Hinterbrandner, Roberta Jurčić, Gregor Zorzi
Charlotte Malterre-Barthes