Shaping society and architecture

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Shaping society and architecture

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has highlighted the global economic systems and forces that it expects to shape the built environment over the next decade.

Commissioned by RIBA and written by leading academics, the Economics of the Built Environment scans provide foresight on the topics expected to drive the greatest change by 2034.

The four scans are:

*Interconnectedness and specialisation: the economic geography of the built environment

*Emerging economies: how architects can contribute to sustainable urban futures in fast-changing contexts

*Inequality: planning and design for a more equitable world

*Financialisation: buildings and architecture at the centre of global financial systems

These scans reframe the built environment as an expression of the economic forces that shape it.

They investigate the factors set to impact the sector financially: from rapid urbanisation, to increased use of digital twinning augmenting the financialisation of the built environment.

Overall, the scans invite a deeper consideration of the economic system and the architect's part in in.

They ask what effect the way money is spent has not only on the quality of the built environment, but also on the ability to develop a more equitable society and tackle the climate crisis.

They call for an intersectoral response by architects and planners, working closely with economists, financiers, clients, and others, to come up with solutions that unlock global potential.

RIBA president Muyiwa Oki said: “RIBA keeps a close eye on the UK and global economy, forecasting business and employment trends month-to-month in our Future Trends reports and deep-diving into the wider economic context in architectural market economics reports.

“With expert insight on how the economic environment will change over the next decade, the Economics of the Built Environment scans position architects as having a great opportunity to positively shape the urban transformation ahead of us.

“They highlight the need for an intersectoral response by architects and planners, working closely with economists, financiers and clients.

“Collaboration will be key to finding solutions that unlock global potential.”