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The current climate and energy crisis demands a discussion on sustainable construction and urban planning. To prioritize sustainability, it is crucial to construct new buildings with environmentally friendly practices.

Additionally, generating public policies that encourage the upcycling of existing buildings can bring about meaningful reforms. This approach promotes resource conservation, reduces waste, and fosters a more sustainable built environment.

The upcoming UTC presents an opportunity to shift the architectural paradigm from conventional construction to sustainable building practices. This shift can be achieved by including "green" building strategies, based on mid-term projects, living lab experiences, and international cooperation programs. Specifically, it is an invitation to meet the Galápagos Living Lab Project which is transforming public, housing, and tourism infrastructures, as a practice that aims to change the architectural paradigm, from Galapagos to the rest of the world. A follow-up event is envisioned in March 2024.

One of the primary goals of this UTC is to encourage commitment from participants to develop and replicate practices contributing to sustainability in the built environment. This objective highlights the importance of the New Urban Agenda in addressing sustainable construction and urban planning, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In that sense, this UTC promotes The City We Need Now Manifesto #TCWNN, to raise awareness and advance positive change in order to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and well-planned cities to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11.

This UTC aims to contribute to the dissemination of Project Living Lab* that works to transform the architectural paradigm in Galapagos through the implementation of sustainable building strategies in a public building, a hotel, and a residential building. In order to inspire other projects it recommends:


  • Generate local capacities for sustainable building and promotion of innovative entrepreneurship.

  • Transfer knowledge to actors in the construction chain and public officials.


  • Identify options for replicating the process in other places.

  • Expand the generated knowledge.

  • Adopt sustainable building standards.


  • Generate packages of architectural and technological designs that are easy to implement in buildings in use.

  • Maximize wind utilization, minimize heat, and increase comfort.


  • Generate information to formulate public policies that promote sustainable building.

  • Legislate to institutionalize sustainable building practices.

  • Establish standards for the transition towards the new paradigm.

  • Implement participatory mechanisms.

UTC Agenda:

Opening (9 am)

❖ Urban Lab 1: Spatial planning, architecture and academia

Strategic urban planning with a focus on sustainability. Improve the

sustainable mobility and accessible approach.

- Build resilient infrastructure.

- Promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

- Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

❖ Urban Lab 2: Livelihoods, tourism and civil society

Economic reactivation. Sustainable Tourism industry, showing itself as

eco-friendly and culturally attractive.

- Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and

natural heritage

- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

- Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development

impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes

local culture and products

❖ Urban Lab 3: Governance, policies and parliament

Strengthen citizen participatory programs. Increase “attractive” urban

planning approaches.

- Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

- Promote urban legislation and enforce non-discriminatory laws and

policies for sustainable development

- Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

- Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil

society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing

strategies of partnerships

❖ Closing remarks


World Urban Campaign of UN-Habitat

WUC Organizers:

Smartly Social Enterprise on the SDGs - UIA Region VI - St Gallen



Project LivingLab Galápagos, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano y EBP Chile

*Project LivingLab (LLES) is an initiative funded by EUROCLIMA+ (European Union), with technical support from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Spanish Cooperation Agency (AECID) which is being implemented in Galápagos by the Special Regime of Galapagos Governing Council (CGREG) and Mentefactura.


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