Reconstructing the Future for People and Planet Conference

bauhaus earth

The Reconstructing the Future for People and Planet Conference, hosted by Bauhaus Earth and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), took place at the Casina Pio IV, the PAS headquarters, in the Vatican Gardens, on June 9-10, 2022. The conference brought together world-renowned scientists, architects, spatial planners, and policymakers to discuss the transformation of the built environment from a driver of climatic and societal crises into a force for planetary regeneration. 

The program included keynote speeches from Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission; Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of Bauhaus Earth and PAS Academician; and Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect and 2022 Pritzker Prize Winner. You can find the full program here.

Further speakers include: Klara Geywitz, Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building; Joachim von Braun, PAS President; Lesley Lokko, architect and curator of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale; Bjarke Ingels, leading Scandinavian architect; Francesca Bria, President of the Italian National Innovation Fund; Shigeru Ban, 2014 Pritzker Prize Recipient; Andrea Gebhard, President of the German Federal Chamber of Architects; Geoffrey West, President Emeritus of the Santa Fe Institute; Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab; Sandrine Dixson-Declève, President of the Club of Rome; and Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

The conference followed the launch of Bauhaus Earth’s Charter initiative on June 8, 2022, at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. Authored by seventeen scientists, architects, spatial planners, and policymakers from around the world, the Charter demands the transformation of the construction industry from a driver of the climate crisis into a regenerative force. In recognition of the dire threat of climate collapse and global mass extinction, the charter signatories commit to the systemic transformation of our buildings and cities. The Charter is a living document and will continuously be edited and updated.


Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Founder and Managing Director of Bauhaus Earth.
“If we will build the first quantum computer, we will boost our digital tools and our digital capacities by a factor of a million. At the same time, we have to preserve the living conditions of humanity on the planet, which is all-natural. We have to bring together high-tech and no-tech.”

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission since 2019.
“The heart and the soul for this huge transformation is taking people along. Dealing with this whole topic not as a top-down, but as a bottom-up movement.”

Edgar Pietrese, founder of the African Centre for Cities in Cape Town. 
“Place-making design interventions, rooted in the deployment of sustainable biomaterials, combined with employment policies rooted in the social and informal economy, is the only way to drive bottom-up equity that can spill over into citywide social justice.”

Ana María Durán Calisto, Ecuadorean architect, urbanist, and environmental planner.
“The linear narrative of the West is useless to explain the cities in Amazonia. Here you can fish, hunt do agriculture and do typically urban functions, it’s completely multifunctional. They are hierarchical, but at the same time, they are horizontal. In these diffuse, low density constellations the future may find some answers.”

You can now download our first Bauhaus Earth book “Reconstructing the Future: Cities as Carbon Sinks”, a compilation of papers from the conference.

Want to learn more?
> WATCH: The entire conference is available online!
> READ: “Bauhaus Earth: Conference in the Vatican Gardens”, ARCH+