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Publications Office of the European Union | Towards a Shared Culture of Architecture


Towards a Shared Culture of Architecture - Investing in a High-Quality Living Environment for Everyone

This report explores the development of quality architecture and living environments in Europe, presenting prevalent trends and best practices. It emphasizes the integration of spatial design and architecture into multidisciplinary responses to societal and environmental challenges. The report introduces eight fundamental quality criteria for high-quality Baukultur, covering governance, functionality, environment, economy, diversity, context, sense of place, and beauty.

Case studies provide insights on operationalizing quality criteria and offer a checklist for assessing quality in planning processes. The report highlights the importance of adaptability and future-proofing in the face of sustainability and climate goals. It underscores the role of the public sector in advancing placemaking culture and emphasizes the need to raise spatial awareness, enhance education and skills, and foster citizen participation.

The report emphasizes that interdisciplinary discourse, innovative funding schemes, and informed citizen participation are crucial for quality projects. It aims to promote a culture-centered approach to the built environment, focusing on improving design processes and ensuring that functional, technical, economic, and cultural needs are met.

The intended audience for this report includes decision-makers in architecture, the built environment, culture and heritage, spatial planning, and sustainable development at various levels. It also targets clients, civil servants, and other stakeholders. The key recommendations highlight the importance of best-practice models, access to knowledge about quality, and decision-makers subscribing to quality principles. These recommendations aim to create a high-quality living environment for everyone by improving governance processes and ensuring informed decision-making based on relevant information and expertise.

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