On 4 May 2019, in Innsbruck (Austria), the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) presented a Statement on Achieving Quality in the Built Environment, on the occasion of its Conference on the theme “How to Achieve Quality in the Built Environment: Quality assurance tools and systems”.
While there is a broad consensus on the fact that a high-quality built environment impacts positively on people’s everyday lives, it can prove difficult for public authorities, project developers and built environment professionals to assess and guarantee the quality of the buildings and urban spaces they commission and design.
The Statement includes thoughts on the meaning of quality mean and the nature of quality places and puts forward some essential features that characterise a high-quality place. The text also recalls that high-quality built environments impact on people’s perceptions - how they function and behave, the direct contribution they make to our everyday lives and how they should be considered as agents of change. Finally, the Statement highlights some key principles that should be taken into account in assessing quality of a place, as well as the best ways to put them into practice and promote high-quality architecture.
This Statement is designed to contribute to the work of the future Expert Group on High-quality Architecture and Built Environment for Everyone, for which provision is made in the Council’s Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022.
Representatives from ACE Member Organisations present at the conference showed their support for the statement by acclamation. The ACE will endeavour to promote this statement to the EU institutions and Member States and is looking forward to contributing to the work of the future Expert Group of the EU Council.
ACE President Georg Pendl stated “after collecting and discussing various examples and methodologies for obtaining quality in the built environment we have concluded basic principles and recommendations on the matter. We see this as a further building block for the dissemination of architectural quality in Europe in order to improve the quality of life of our citizens”.