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  • Kivanc Cengiz

Sustainability and Sustainable Architecture

Güncelleme tarihi: 5 Nis 2021

Sustainability is derived from the Latin word sustenere, which, in its simplest definition, means that it can be maintained in a given situation. The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) has made the most widely used definition of sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations".

Studies on sustainability and sustainable development focus on the environmental dimension of this concept. Therefore, the concept of sustainability is generally associated with environmental sustainability. Sustainability not only has an environmental goal but also needs to be addressed with its cultural, social, and economic dimensions. The rapid growth of the socioeconomic subsystem creates an excessive burden on the ecosystem and unlimited economic growth will not be sustainable in the long run.

The economic approach to sustainable development is based at least on the maximum income stream that can be achieved by preserving the stock of assets available. Its ecological approach focuses on the stability of biological and physical systems. Particularly important here is the feasibility and protection of subsystems that are critical to the global stability of the overall ecosystem. Biodiversity conservation is a key element. Emphasis is placed on maintaining the flexibility and dynamic ability of systems to adapt to change, rather than maintaining the ideal static state. The socio-cultural dimension tries to maintain the stability of social and cultural systems. Intergenerational equity and equality are important aspects of this approach.

In the era of industrialization, only a few intellectuals and artists could see the danger behind seemingly limitless potentials. Rarely, some authors have been able to discuss the negative effects of the industrial age, factories that destroy the world, poisons, air pollution, and the causes of existing diseases arising from the environment and pollution. The emerging capitalist economic system has created an ever-expanding market for sustained economic growth. In this consumption model, people defined themselves only as spending power, in other words, consumers.


In the early 1960s, after the effects of widespread pesticide use on the natural environment became evident, the start of civil rights movements, the beginning of human rights campaigns, the feminism movement, and awareness of the environmental impacts of human activities, heralded a changing worldview. These social and environmental concerns developed with postmodernism have become two of the main elements of sustainability and have been important factors in a comprehensive design understanding for sustainability. The economy is expressed as the third element.

Today, environmental problems cannot be ignored by designers, critics, and different disciplines. The transition from "green" to "eco" and "sustainable" in the field of the design represents an expansion of scope in theory and practice and an increasingly critical perspective on ecology and design.




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