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President Ursula von der Leyen addresses Reconstructing the Future Conference Tomorrow at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

The Vatican, June 8, 2022

The Reconstructing the Future for People and Planet Conference, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and Bauhaus Earth, begins tomorrow at the Casina Pio IV, the PAS headquarters, in the Vatican Gardens.

The conference will open with a speech from Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and will bring together world-renowned scientists, architects, spatial planners, and policy makers to discuss the transformation of the built environment from a driver of climatic and societal crises into a force for planetary regeneration.

In his game-changing encyclical Laudato si’ on the “care for our common home”, Pope Francis addresses, inter alia, the deplorable state of the contemporary built environment: “Nowadays, (...) we are conscious of the disproportionate and unruly growth of many cities, which have become unhealthy to live in (...), huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water. Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.” (44)

The built environment is also a crucial factor in the climate equation: Buildings and infrastructures are directly responsible for roughly 40% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, if one adds up the effects of construction, operation, and demolition.

The program includes keynote speeches from Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of Bauhaus Earth and PAS Academician; and Francis Kéré, architect and this year’s Pritzker Prize Recipient. The June 9 program will conclude with a conversation between Kéré and von der Leyen at the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome.

Reconstructing the Future is available to the public via livestream, June 9 ‒ 10, 2022. Please follow this link to register and join online.


Conference Speakers Include:

‒      Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission

‒      Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of Bauhaus Earth and PAS Academician

‒      Francis Kéré, architect and this year’s Pritzker Prize Recipient

‒      Joachim von Braun, Pontifical Academy of Sciences President

‒      Lesley Lokko, architect and curator of next year’s Venice Architecture Biennale

‒      Bjarke Ingels, leading Scandinavian architect

‒      Francesca Bria, President of the Italian National Innovation Fund

‒      Shigeru Ban, architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize Laureate

‒      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

‒      Wael Al Awar, architect and recipient of the 2021 Venice Biennial Golden Lion

‒      Sandrine Dixson-Declève, President of the Club of Rome

‒      Archbishop Paul Gallagher


About Bauhaus Earth

Bauhaus Earth is a nonprofit organization, based in Potsdam and Berlin, dedicated to the transformation of the construction sector and building policies into creative forces for environmental preservation and systemic regeneration. Founded in 2019, Bauhaus Earth brings together experts from the fields of architecture and planning, the arts, science, governance, and industry. Through deep-research, demonstration projects and political advocacy, Bauhaus Earth is helping to create buildings, cities, and landscapes that serve our planet and its inhabitants. The Laudes Foundation is a financial supporter and partner of Bauhaus Earth.



Journalists and media operators who wish to conduct interviews on June 9th at 12:00pm must apply through the Holy See Press Office online accreditation System available at: press.vatican.va/accreditamenti

Available for interviews:

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun

H.Em. Cardinal Peter Turkson

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Federal Minister Klara Geywitz

Ruth Reichstein

and others