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  • 16th September 2022

The Institute for Human Rights and Business

The Ove Arup Foundation has recently announced support for the Institute for Human Rights and Business.

Over a two-year period, this project will produce teaching materials, academic papers, university linkages and a course syllabus, to fill the gap in teaching on human rights and just transitions in the built environment. 

The materials will be developed through the Institute for Human Rights and Business’ (IHRB)’s global built environment programme, and from a research and visioning process on just transition in the built-environment involving deep-dives in eight major global cities.

Globally-scaled action to tackle climate change in the built environment includes efforts to reduce emissions from buildings – recognising that buildings and construction account for 37% of global energy-related carbon emissions – and to strengthen resilience in the context of rising sea levels and increasing extreme weather events.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the stark disparities that characterise the built environment – including who has access to a decent place to live, and to green spaces. However, knowledge and action on the social and human rights dimensions of the built environment lags behind action on the climate and environmental dimensions. At the same time, climate action often focuses narrowly on mitigation or adaptation without paying due attention to the social risks of these processes leaving some communities and workers behind.

Similarly, the social and human rights dimensions of built environment decision-making are not yet widely taught in schools of planning, engineering and architecture, or in business school teaching on real-estate finance.

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