Architectural Charter for a Global Environment

Recognizing the relationship between today's global environmental issues and architecture, we, representing the five following architectural organizations in Japan, hereby enact the "Architectural Charter for a Global Environment", and herewith declare to tackle, with each other, realizing a sustainable cyclic society.

June 1st, 2000

Architectural Institute of Japan
Japan Federation of Architects & Building Engineers Associations
Japan Association of Architectural Firms
Japan Institute of Architects
Building Contractors' Society

The Twentieth Century saw a tremendous development of a materialized civilization and rapid urbanization all over the world, including Japan. These brought us a convenient and comfortable lifestyle, positioning human beings at the core of nature. As a result, one such consequence, unfortunately, has been the emergence of various global problems, such as global warming, the destruction of the earth's ecosystem, overuse of natural resources, and the accumulation of wastes. They are now threatening the environment of the whole earth, the basic background for all lives. And it is now obvious that our architectural activities play considerably important roles in causing such phenomenas.
In this regard, we now recognize the urgent need to realize a sustainable society, by preserving the global environment while maintaining the health and safety of human beings at the same time. Architecture itself is not self-defining, and must be viewed within the context of its region, as well as the global environment. Therefore we hereby declare, as our basic objective of the 21st Century, that we will endeavor to create architecture with the following characteristics, in cooperation with all the concerned people.

  1. Architecture shall be planned, designed, built, operated and maintained as a long-term social property, with a life that will span multiple generations. <Longevity>

  2. Architecture shall constitute an element of a sound social environment which is in harmony with the natural environment and which co-exists with the diversity of life on the Earth. <Symbiosis>

  3. Architecture shall minimize consumption of energy throughout its lifetime, and maximize the use of natural and unused energy sources. <Energy Conservation>

  4. Architecture shall incorporate reusable and recyclable resources and materials of minimum environmental loads, and minimize consumption of natural resources throughout its lifetime. <Resource Conservation and Cyclicity>

  5. Architecture shall be created as a cultural component, respecting the local history and identity, relating to "genius loci", and succeeding for future generations as a good incubator. <Succession>