Curator/EXHIBITOR Maksut Vezgishi, Pavilion Of The Republic Of Kosovo. Earth is Home / The role of urbanization is to create sustainable environments that bond humans with Nature and it is part of planetary biodiversity. Hence, this is the noblest mission of architecture. Global urbanization is in expansion: population growth, constructions of megastructures (housing, economy, communications, etc.). The process involves countries and societies where every decision—making has a global impact, thus lack of sustainable planning places Earth at risk. The most acute issue is the global warming crisis. We lack the awareness and coordinated actions in order to avoid the effects of climate disaster. Today we learned that no human action can be viewed as an individual anymore.

Social equality, raising awareness for the environment and inclusiveness – key factors for a healthy and inclusive environment.

The Earth and its miracles, its diversity and complexity comprising millions of species, natural phenomena and features occurring naturally and interdependently is the place where we breathe, live, work, dream and coexist. Our incessant human activity and interference with it adds a new level of complexity in which we have to coexist and cooperate.

The way in which humanity acts now and how it will act in the future to align itself with the environment is the most complex issue of all times.

Our ‘development’ as a species and as a civilisation, particularly since the industrial revolution and creation of capitalism is considered by many as the most dynamic and progressive era in human history.

The question is, however, which actions and achievement shall we consider as progressive at the point where society stands today. 

– building structures?

– technological advancement?

– industrial production?

– ongoing wars and conflicts?

– arms production?

– exploitation?

or shall we consider

– raising people’s awareness as individuals and as a society and, in particular, changing the way people in relevant professionals think and act.

–  conscientiousness and responsibility of those entrusted with creating a well governed system in which society functions in new and innovative use of space around us, i.e. artificial ecosystems created in balance with the natural environment.

We cannot talk about advancement of a society which pretends to be civilised if we fail to tackle social and economic inequality, bad housing in all urban areas, poverty, and inequality in participation.

Regardless of technological innovation and scientific discoveries, poor understanding, inequality, consideration of the interests of a small portion of society in expense of wider interests of the population throw a shadow on what could be a much better picture.

We see lives being lost every day, the destruction of the environment and destruction of areas, which took a painstaking dedication and commitment to build over the centuries. We see the will of the powerful being imposed on those who are weaker; we still see violation of basic human rights all over the world…

This level of neglect for fellow human beings and environment, which continues to occur, is unacceptable and unjustifiable for our time but even more so for future generations.

In the context of the current circumstances in Kosovo, it is imperative to shift investments and actions on a totally different platform in order to prevent further damage to the fabric of our communities; it needs to be on a platform which functions and enables us to tackle basic social and environmental problems, which we have created.

Equality and inclusion are undoubtedly crucial factors in building a stable society but we need to ask honest, and sometimes, uneasy questions if we, as a society, are willing to build a truly inclusive environment with equal opportunity for all. These questions should form the basis of our moral considerations when thinking about our common good and should permeate our actions from the stage of inception as ideas to the final stages of executing them in practice.

Raising awareness about the environment

Raising awareness for the environment in which we live, work and enjoy is a crucial component in well-functioning, cohesive communities. Good planning of a multi-layered and multifunctional living space with all its diversity and complexity requires a high level of understanding and appreciation of environmental issues as well as self-discipline of the members of the communities it serves.

It is true that we have contributed in shaping the environment more than it would have been imaginable only a few decades ago. However, we have also contributed in created numerous artificial ecosystems almost entirely disconnected to that key ingredient – nature. These systems have often resulted in creating unhealthy living conditions for our communities.

So let’s imagine a common future in living spaces or urban developments which are inclusive and synchronised with nature around them. These spaces will need to have a range of features and functions to accommodate a wide range of human activity and aspiration.

Open and public spaces play a vital role in promoting the well-being for the communities they are intended for. Having access to these spaces will encourage healthy interactions through physical and cultural activities, which will contribute to promoting a sense of fulfilment both physically and socially. Therefore, we need to aim to create a strong bond between the citizens and the environment in which they live. Let’s make it possible for people to live in healthy urban spaces where they feel at home; let’s create living environments where people can move freely and where roads aren’t built to serve more traffic instead of pedestrians and cyclists; let’s create roads which aren’t seen as simple connection between A and B but offer experiences in their own right to those using them. We mustn’t allow that squares and other public spaces are dominated by certain parts of the community in expense of the wider community; in other words, towns that offer views and access to the surrounding natural beauty.

We can’t talk about human rights outside the context of the environment in which people live.

Offering safe public spaces is e key element for enjoyment of these unalienable rights.

Creating and utilisation of public spaces contributes to the fulfilment of legitimate aspirations of the members of the wider community by improving safety, quality of life and social cohesion as key ingredients of healthy living.

We need to emphasise that raising awareness for the environment is an indication that we understand its fragility as well as the importance to protect it.

We can stop the current trend of harmful activities if we engage in repairing the artificial ecosystems that have sprung up in recent years even if we put a temporary stop to relentless interventions all around us while we concentrate our efforts in preserving the natural ecosystems through raising awareness about the importance of environments in which life thrives and its role in the general well-being of citizens.

Social equality, care for the environment, inclusiveness, consideration for living beings and nature, empathy, and support for one another are key factors in building a world in which we feel we can fulfill our potential for ourselves and for future generations.