Since the start of Architects for Peace, we have discussed the idea of providing pro-bono services, at home and overseas. We have had sporadic attempts to it and we see the need to structure and consolidate it into a proper service, which can be accessible to non-for profit organisations and community groups.
The reasons for providing these services are many and include:
- The perceived and real social divide in the use of architectural services
- The perceived notion that architecture is dispensable and deals only with aesthetics
- The public's general unawareness of the impact of architecture, urban design and planning in the way we use and live in our cities
- The reality that urban professional disciplines are responsible for up to 75% of greenhouse gases emissions
- The need of our arch-peace professionals to assist in the creation of more democratic, fair and better cities for all, wherever we are based
- The fact that in Australia, we lag behind other professions who see the value of offering their professional services to those who cannot otherwise afford them.
- The need to realise that these services would provide mutual benefits and that as part of the society we live in, we all suffer or rejoice from urban wellbeing
The pro-bono services will provide options to those who could not otherwise afford them. At the same time, this process will facilitate the promotion of architecture and planning and its discussion in relation to its impact on people, their health and their city. We hope that these services can promote education, participation and assist in finding solutions to our damaged environment.
Arch-peace is now discussing this initiative and the question is how to make it possible. The how may be a difficult one to resolve - but not impossible, given that the objective, we know, is worthwhile.
We would like to invite you to tell us what you think. Your input will help us to address the issues and potential of this initiative: is this important to you? How do you think it could be arranged? Do you know of potential pro-bono clients? Would your firm be interested in providing this service?
(Beatriz C. Maturana)
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