Are sustainable buildings a solution for rich countries only? [Podcast]

In this episode we will discuss about how politics, builders, and architects aim to face the accelerated trend of urbanization looking for solutions to provide sustainable housing and buildings at an affordable price. What are the current and future techniques and key materials to build an environment-friendly, comfortable and low energy building? Are these materials as relevant all over the world? or are these specific solutions for industrialized countries?


Jonathan Duwyn, United Nations Program Officer, in charge of the One Planet Network Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme

  • Salvator John Liotta. Architect and Professor of Architecture at the Paris School of Architecture and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Cosmin Cotora, International Development Manager of Cerway, an organization that certifies buldings with the High Environmental Quality label in developing countries



By 2050, almost 70% of the world population will live in cities. All over the world, people continue to long for an urban way of life, synonym of work, prosperity and comfort. 

To give you some figures, according to the latest United Nations report, the urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018. After the United States, Latin America and Europe, Asian and African populations, which used to live mainly in the countryside, are also changing.  

How can cities cope with this massive trend? All of them try to fight against different types of pollution. Sustainable development depends increasingly on the successful management of urban growth, especially in low-income countries where the most rapid urbanization is expected.

Policy makers, builders, and architects on all continents look for solutions to provide sustainable housing and buildings at an affordable price. Is it possible? Or, are comfy and sustainable buildings luxury solutions for rich countries only?

Some large scales projects already seem promising. The capital of Colombia has just authorized the building of a High Environmental Quality social housing complex, according to international standards…

But can we build houses in Bogota the same way as in New Dehli’s suburbs or in Johannesburg? Can there be international standards for healthy and durable housing? Is it what people want?


A roadmap for Zero emissions buildings is here


Is Net Zero Building an achievable goal?