Our RESTORE Cost Action publication that records the outputs of the sustainability working group is now available to download from the RESTORE website. This publication, with contributions from over 20 EU countries is an exploration in progressing a paradigm shift in built environment thinking, from sustainability to restorative sustainability and on to regenerative sustainability.
It presents a reference document for future work of the RESTORE Action, for other Cost Actions and for built environment academia and industry organisations.
Within this publication we have sought to describe and reinforce a new era of sustainability, one that address the impacts, pressures and challenges of our anthropogenic age. Against the background of, and within the context of rapidly changing climate we no longer have the luxury not to seek a new sustainability.
It presents a new sustainability paradigm that moves away from just reducing impact to one that is committed to doing more good, through focused restorative and regenerative strategies and actions.
We have sought to establish a language of regenerative sustainability, one that includes love, place and participation in addition to regenerative approaches to energy, water and resources.
The rise in wellbeing as an element of sustainability is highly significant with many of the main stream standards now evolving to embrace wellbeing, aligning for example with the Well Build standard, or as in the case of the Living Building Challenge recognising the importance of buildings on the health and happiness of its inhabitants.
We can go much further however, though buildings that provide salotogenic co-benefits, improving the mental and physical health of those who work, play and live within our buildings, and in doing so making a significant contribution to wider health care economies.
Through the work on definitions, a worldview of sustainability, living buildings, heritage and economy, we have identified and explored a number of ‘triggers’ necessary to move us to a future built environment that is ecologically sound, culturally rich, socially just and economically viable:
››› Language – a language for sustainability that inspires, not confuses,
››› Education – inspiring the next generation,
››› Nature – reconnecting buildings with nature that in turn can reconnect people with nature,
››› Place – living buildings that contribute to and enhance stories and culture of the past and share lessons for the future,
››› Economy – moving from limited growth to Regenerative Economies.
The working group definitions, insights, visions and triggers to move us towards a regenerative economy now sets the foundations;
››› for future RESTORE working groups to build upon and to develop,
››› for industry to adopt and implement through adopting regenerative frameworks and standards identified (such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Living Building Challenge) and
››› for education & academia to embrace and include within built environment curriculums.
The built environment is currently a major contribution to climate change, the task before us is to make the shift towards a future build environment that makes responsible contribution to climate solutions.
Welcome to a new era for sustainability