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Presentation

      

We find ourselves at a time of far-reaching socioeconomic and technological changes, crisis in the world’s financial structures, and marked urban rifts and segregation, and every day the consequences of climate change are becoming more evident. Some speak of a crisis of values and the need to develop a new model of development based on ethics and a sustainable approach. Rather than an epoch of change, we seem to be looking at a change of epoch.
After long intensive years of “building cities” and marginalizing urban centres, the 1960s and 1970s saw an emerging need to “build with cities” and the start of intervention in obsolete historic centres that are unequipped to respond to the dramatic changes affecting society. In the 1990s, rehabilitation spread to neighbourhoods built in the post-war years that were clearly entering into a process of degradation and required urgent attention. Today, rehabilitation requires a much broader approach: sustainability, thinking more of “people” than of “stones”, and moving beyond one-off local interventions to address a more global, integrated scale.

When addressed at the global scale with an integrative approach, improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and incorporating renewable energies are actions that serve to reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy performance. However, sustainable rehabilitation cannot stop at energy saving; it has to incorporate construction, environmental, economic, social and structural aspects, with the primary aim of improving the quality of life of the building’s residents, promoting social cohesion and highlighting cultural assets.
This congress, which has its origin in the manifesto “The Challenge of Rehabilitation”, aims to provide a forum for debate about the future of the construction sector which is calling for a housing policy that serves the needs of present-day society in accordance with the European model based on rehabilitation and sustainability. It is intended as a meeting point where all agents in the sector can present their works and reflections under four main headings: housing policy, commitment to sustainability, the regulatory framework and new forms of dwelling.
As President of the Col·legi d’Aparelladors, Arquitectes Tècnics i Enginyers d’Edificació de Barcelona, I urge you to take an active part in the international congress “Rehabilitation and Sustainability. The Future is Possible”, from now until October 2010.
 
Rosa Remolà
Presidenta del Col·legi d'Aparelladors, Arquitectectes Tècnics i Enginyers d'Edificació