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Europe, Danube and Water – Efap Conference in Budapest

June 18, 2011

In the framework of the official programmes of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union the European Forum for Architectural Policies has organised an international conference in Budapest between 4th and 7th of May.  Sara Van Rompaey represented the Belgian Chamber of Architects and the Architetcts’ Council of Europe. She sent me a short note about the event and some slides that I am very glad to publish here.

The European Forum for Architectural Policies aims to foster and promote architectural policies in Europe, bridging public governance, profession, culture and education. One means to achieve this aim is to provide a forum at its biannual conference for continuous exchange of information and dialogue on architectural policy, to promote the creation and operation of national architectural policies by presenting working national, and in some cases local architectural policies, the way in which they were created and implemented, and the results that they produced.

The main topic of the Budapest conference has been water and the River Danube, revealing the architectural and spatial planning relevance of the European Danube Region Strategy. The international conference provided the opportunity to direct attention, in a European context, to the issues of our global world that require common solutions of urban planning and architecture.

The conference was structured around 3 topics.

Europe, Hungary, Architectural policy: Make “Papers” Work!
The conference gave insight into the cultural relevance of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the concept of implementing the principles and strategies of the Leipzig Charter and presented the EU Council Conclusions on architecture and sustainable development.
Furthermore a comparative analysis gave an account of the architectural policies that are already working in the countries of Europe and provided information about the situation of the Hungarian architectural policy as well.

Danube and Water: Grab the Chance!
The conference provided an overview of the role and importance that the River Danube has in the Central European region, followed by a presentation on the European Danube Region Strategy.

Innovation for Sustainability: Build for People in a Different Way!
It is necessary to renew attitude and mindset in town- and regional planning. The issues addressed included the interdependence of cities and their regions, environment-conscious water management and landscape use. Working European examples have been used to show how to shape the environment in a harmonious manner and on a humane scale focusing on real quality of life. Good examples will show that former construction methods and abandoned buildings can be creatively adapted and reutilised.

In addition to the representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission, international and Hungarian lecturers and participants were invited from all areas of the profession of architecture in its broadest sense.

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Further comprehensive information in English and Hungarian language at the Budapest Conference website www.efap.mek.hu

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