The International Union of Architects (UIA) is a coalition of national professional associations dedicated to harmonizing the efforts of architects, shaping public policies, and promoting architecture to address societal needs effectively. Its mission is to unite architects, promote intellectual exchange and cooperation among them, and advance the architectural profession. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, adopted by United Nations member states in September 2015, serves as a blueprint for addressing global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. It comprises 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030.

The guidebook illustrates how architecture intersects with each of the SDGs, emphasizing the interconnectedness among the various goals.

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The guidebook is structured into three primary categories:

Experiences from the past: this section features examples of built projects from the 20th century that have contributed to the SDGs in various ways. These projects serve as historical references or case studies, illustrating how architecture has historically addressed sustainability, social equity, economic development, and other pertinent issues.

Last decade projects: focusing on built projects from the 21st century, particularly those completed within the last decade, this category showcases modern approaches to addressing the SDGs through architecture. These projects demonstrate evolving priorities, technologies, and design strategies in relation to sustainable development goals.

Inspirations for the future: this category presents ideas and concepts for future projects that have the potential to contribute to the SDGs. These may include novel design concepts, sustainable building technologies, urban planning strategies, or visionary proposals that address current and anticipated challenges.

By featuring examples from these three categories, the guidebook aims to underscore the diverse intersections of architecture with the 17 sustainable development goals. It serves as a valuable resource for architects, urban planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders, offering inspiration, insights, and practical examples for integrating sustainability and social responsibility into their endeavors.

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