Architecture is a vital civic interest, considering many of the spaces where we interact are all defined by humans. Homes, schools, workplaces, cultural buildings, streetscapes, parks, landscapes – are in one way or another planned and designed. Architecture affects us all. Similar to immigration, the reality and environment we interact with changes over time, and our ideas of self change too.
The nature of the environment in which we live affects our wellbeing. “Good” architecture enhances the quality of life, and in doing so, values are created for the individual and society. Thus, our architecture is a form of defining who we are. So as global immigration increases the way in which we define ourselves depends less on the nation and more on our lived experiences. How do we interact with someone we have never met before? Do we treat them with respect? Do we seek to understand their perspective?
Architecture has always been about tackling the problems we as a society see, and being open to change. Economic, social and environmental sustainability is all tied into the questions concerning the way in which we plan our cities and communities. Sustainable development, cultural representation, and architecture are all closely interconnected. Well-designed environments in cities and communities attract new residents. Thus, architecture must take into account how immigrants are being assimilated into the society, and how their perspectives are being valued when designing new civic spaces. Architecture creates value and lays the foundations of growth for all citizens equally.
There are many different agents that define how Architecture is shaped in each country, city, and block. Politics, the market, architects and planners – all have their tasks and responsibilities for creating the common environments we are to live in today and in the future. Ultimately politics defines initial stage for society’s shaping over time. An effective dialogue is needed between politics, business, and the general public.
The starting point consists of mutual respect for each other’s roles, responsibilities and knowledge. Many times the newer waves of immigrants must have representation within politics and business to be properly represented within Architecture. This is starting to change as more firms seek to diversify their leadership and politics and business make more of an effort to on-board talents that come from all over the world.
Archdaily recently came out with an article that tackles the question: How migration will define the future of urbanism and architecture? Check out their take on the impact of immigration on civic spaces!