Ms. Nora Steurer, Programme Management Officer, GlobalABC/UNEP
Mr. Kyungkoo Philip Kang, Economic Affairs Officer, ESCAP
The buildings and construction sector globally is responsible for about 40 per cent of energy- and process related emissions and 36 per cent of final energy demand. Cities are hubs of economic activity producing 80 per cent of Asia-Pacific’s GDP, while also responsible for about 75 per cent of resource consumption. Half of the buildings standing in 2060 are not yet built with urban centres growing particularly rapidly in the Asian region. We have a narrow window of opportunity to get it right and construct climate proof buildings that promote well-being, reduce heat-island effect and increase cities’ resilience. Solutions are particularly urgent for the fast-growing emerging Asian megacities. Especially by targeting urban centres and buildings we can address climate change challenges while also tackling social issues including affordable housing, accessibility and urban poverty.
Buildings constructed today are likely to dictate city and town development and consumption patterns for decades to come. Today’s built environment is a complex mix of structures, systems and technology. A logical starting point to developing sustainable cities is by developing buildings that are resilient, energy efficiency, environmentally sound, economically productive and socially inclusive.
Several best practices at building operation level exist to improve their efficiency and today’s technologies can enable data collection to track building performance and maintenance over time. Such technologies can be transformative making our buildings into tools for sustainable, efficient, healthy, and prosperous living.