The overall ambition of the World Sustainable Built Environment conference, BEYOND 2020 is to collectively formulate a transformational plan and set of commitments for the built environment to support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The WSBE conference BEYOND 2020 strives to contribute to the goals by substantiating them for the built environment globally and by regions. We believe that it is crucial not to leave one goal behind but to build on the regional strengths and capabilities while taking into consideration changing climate conditions. Hence, BEYOND 2020’s contribution is centred around goal number 11 “Sustainable cities and communities” that we consider the focal point to deliver and apply solutions for a more sustainable built environment. Around goal number 11, we have identified 10 other goals that are strongly related to goal 11 and these are highly aligned by stakeholders and activities in the built environment with the achievement of ‘sustainable cities and communities’.
The remaining 6 goals are seen as equally relevant to reach global sustainable development but they are of such overarching importance, such as “no poverty” and “zero hunger” that we consider them as fundamentally underpinning any specific sectoral perspective. BEYOND 2020 has the ambition to pave the way for a sustainable built environment globally but take a very specific regional perspective that allows concrete actions to achieve the UNSDGs by 2030. Therefore a transformational plan and commitments for the built environment with clearly prioritised activities needs to be identified by region so that a difference can be made, are achievable and can be scaled appropriately based on the existing conditions.
To achieve this the conference programme will provide participants with an expert analysis of the future context including foresight, futures thinking and the broad socio-economic context particularly for the period 2020-2030; leading edge position papers on climate change; technological innovations; mobility; urban futures; regional 2 differences; disaster and refugee settlements; leadership, governance and management; change processes; scaling up of innovations; mitigation, adaptation, transition and transformation; processes of resilience; and an understanding of the possibilities through collective action and commitment.
The Scientific Committee is seeking contributions that acknowledge the context and ambition and have a clear focus on at least one of the UN SDGs whilst recognizing that contributions may well be broader than this and may impact positively on more than one SDG. The contributions being sought need to address identified challenges and demonstrate innovations that begin to solve these challenges. We envisage that the contributions are likely to cover a range of possibilities including for example technological solutions, behavioural change, governmental interventions, economic and financial mechanisms, new theoretical concepts and directions, bottom up community actions and social movements, education, training, retraining programs and new approaches to research and innovation programs.