Built Environment: Where Do We Go From Here?

How do we balance ecological, development, and equity needs as we construct new living spaces and workspaces for a growing planet? Join the first edition of a new Swissnex series addressing the biggest global challenges of our post-2020 world.

As the global population continues to grow and the human footprint on earth rapidly expands, the longevity and sustainability of our built environment is called into question. Construction and maintenance of our buildings emit immense CO2, and much architecture is not designed for sustainability. At the same time, shortages and inequalities have made housing increasingly unaffordable, and historical urban design choices have rendered many cities ill-prepared for a sustainable future. Can we build our way out of current crises, or does our planetary health require finding alternatives to new construction?

Come to hear the diverse voices of experts tackling our built environment challenges in theory and practice. Hosted by noted Swiss architect Marc Angélil, this roundtable discussion brings together expertise from academia, non-profit, and public sectors. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes from the Harvard Design School will present the case for a global moratorium on new construction – that we instead work with the buildings we have. Kenzie Bok, a Boston City Councilor, will present her experiences working to create a fair and equitable housing infrastructure in our communities – and the challenges to reaching that goal.


  • 5:15 pm – Doors Open
  • 5:30 pm – Opening remarks and introductions
  • 5:35 pm – Speaker statements
  • 5:50 pm – Moderator lead discussion between panelists
  • 6:15 pm – Open mic with audience Q&A
  • 6:45 pm – Social Reception
  • 7:30 pm – Doors Close

Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s 2022, and there’s no going back. Since 2020 the status quo has been shaken. Old assumptions and old norms no longer persist unquestioned. The space to rebuild gives us the room to rethink foundations and rewrite codes. Where do we go from here?

Swissnex in Boston reopens its doors for a new in-person series probing how we can co-create the post-2020 future. Through talks, debates, and open discussions, we’ll test our shifting values, push the edge of what’s possible, and ask how we regain control of planetary systems. And we’ll do it together, in person.


photos from the event