Architects, Urban Designers and Landscape Architects - like the rest of society - have a moral and ethical duty to attend to the ongoing climate and biodiversity emergencies. However, in order for this to succeed, Manchester School of Architecture must update the way we educate our students so that future graduates have the passion and knowledge to alter the current status quo and challenge climate change in imaginative ways.
As such, we’re making a number of changes to our teaching, practice and extra-curricular activities. These include ensuring that knowledge of climate and ecological challenges are embedded throughout our programmes, requiring ateliers to develop personal critical positions on the climate crisis, supporting building re-use, and encouraging students to become activists who actively engage with policy and advocate for change. Our full list of changes can be found on our sustainability page.
We will also continue to support initiatives to address climate change, including the Manchester Student Society of Architect's Climate Action Group, Architecture Education Declares, Architects Climate Action Network and the Landscape Institute's Climate Action Plan.
Beyond limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C, the figure agreed by scientists as the maximum possible figure to avoid catastrophic impacts, the School will also reduce its footprint by moving beyond a focus on carbon reduction and take into account climate resiliency and biodiversity restoration.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge of our times” says Professor Kevin Singh, Head of Manchester School of Architecture. “As future professionals who will shape the built environment for decades to come our students will play a key role in addressing this potentially catastrophic situation. It was therefore essential, morally and practically, that we published a declared position that we will all work towards via the very DNA of our School.”
Currently, the construction industry produces between 35% and 45% of the UK’s carbon emissions. The UK aims to have net-zero emissions by 2050, with developers having to demonstrate a 10% increase in biodiversity in order to obtain planning permission.