New York Times reported on the Trump administration plan to eliminate 76 environmental rules. Harvard experts David M. Cutler and Francesca Dominici have commented that this change in regulation may lead to 80,000 extra deaths per decade mostly due to increased health risks. Reading such news is devastating and defeating.
However, it does not have to be.
Architects and engineers choose to make their projects sustainable because they understand why this is important for the society as a whole, not because of the regulation. Over and over in our conversations with engineers and architects following words are repeated: “Regulation is not enough, we act above it.”
Regulation is not enough, we act above it.
If regulation alone is implemented the planet will not be saved. While regulation does make a difference, the real change comes from architects and engineers decisions. If each individual understands the importance of the environment and sustainability, projects will outperform regulation by far. If they do not understand it and resist it, if they place short term profits above the long term society benefits, regulation will still not help much.
While it is defeating to hear that less environmental knowledge is shared via regulation, I must remind you that we all learn and decide on our own. No regulation is limiting us on how sustainable and environmentally friendly our projects can be. We make the final decision. No one else. I believe that you will make the right choice and create a design better than the best regulation. Make your own rules.
Image features Zhangjiang Future Park by MVRDV.