Everything Needs To Change - Public Lecture Series

Public lecture series timetable and topics, information is also included in blog text.

Panu Lehtovuori, Professor, Urban Planning Theory
Sofie Pelsmakers, Associate Professor (Tenure Track), Housing Design


10 PUBLIC TALKS & OPEN DISCUSSIONS – 09.09.2021 to 11.11.2021

As architects and urbanists, we are part of an industry that continues to emit large amounts of CO2 and other pollution to the atmosphere. Activities, related to the built environment – the design, construction and use buildings and cities – are responsible for 36% of the EU’s CO2 emissions a year, further exacerbating climate change and extreme weather events across the globe. Even Europe has not been immune to increased periods of drought, floods, storms and temperature records being broken, affecting people’s lives, livelihoods and health and well-being.

CO2 is not the only thing that matters; other damaging activities we are part of extract finite resources and produce materials that pollute and destroy natural areas and habitats. And while we often ignore the very people we design for, we also ignore people elsewere around the world who have contributed the least to climate change, yet are being the hardest hit. Simply put, the very design and construction decisions we make here in Europe worsen the extreme weather events that most countries and people are not well equipped to cope with or adapt to.

As rich countries continue to emit greenhouse gasses at their highest-ever concentration levels, extreme weather is decimating more and more parts of the world. Time is running out for millions of people who are already losing their lives, their homes and their livelihoods to climate change. United Nations

The IPCC (Intergovermental Panel for Climate Change) released their 6th report this summer and issued a ‘Code Red’ because human-induced climate change is widespread across the earth, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible for several milennia, such as ice melt and rising sea levels. But the message was also clear that there is still time to limit further climate change. That time is now. With no further delay, a significant transformation of our current way of doing things is called for.

The urgency and scale of the transformative challenge that is needed in society is unprecedented. But failure is not an option: with every degree of rising global temperatures, we risk unhinging ecosystems further, leading to more extreme events, jeopardising the natural and built environment as we know it and that we rely on for our own well-being.

Undeniably, every single architecture and development project contributes to this. We are part of the problem, and therefore we must be part of the solution. Clearly as architects and urbanists we have a local and global responsibility that we can no longer deny or ignore.


This will require more of our creative thinking skills, not less. It will require determination, conviction and optimism that we are part of the solution, not the problem.

And in this spirit, the Architects Climate Action Nework Finland (ACAN FI), supported and sponsored by the Tampere School of Architecture and Tampere University (see below) are opening up a discussion about this urgent societal transformation that is needed across all sectors of society including the built environment. The EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE public lecture series builds on the recently published book of the same name (ebook in the library) and it has been carefully developed to provide thought-provoking discussions for and with architects, and urbanists, all built environment professionals and researchers as well as students. The lecture series supports and is aligned with the Urban Planning and Design IV course (chaired by Professor Panu Lehtovuori) and the Societally Responsive Housing Design course (chaired by Associate Professor Sofie Pelsmakers).

The talks also take place in the run up to COP26, which is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Glasgow in November. After this, an internal discussion with teachers, researchers and students and ACAN is proposed (date to be confirmed), to create a plan for positive action. The lecture series will focus on turning climate anxiety into climate action. Join us!

Lecture timetable

09.09. 17:00-18.30  – Why must everything change? 

16.09. 16:00-19:00 – How urban planning can be radical and transformational?

23.09. 16:00-19:00- How to make the green transformation just?

30.09. 16:00-19:00- Do we really need growth? 

07.10. 16:00-19:00 – Can we really achieve a zero energy or zero carbon society?

14.10. 16:00-19:00- How can we put people and planet first?

21.10. 16:00-19:00 – Why and how should we be doing circular design?

28.10. 16:00-19:00 – How does macro-scale affect micro-scale (and vice versa?)

04.11.  16:00-19:00 – How can we make cities wilder?

11.11. 16:00-19:00- How can we reimagine living environments?

Please register for the events!


Organised by:

ACAN Finland (www.acan.fi)

Sponsored by:

Sustainable Transformation of Urban Environments (STUE)

RESCUE  Real Estate and Sustainable Crisis Management in Urban Environment (Academy of Finland research grant 339711)

Supported by:

ASUTUT (Sustainable Housing Design Research Group)


The Tampere Urban Research Network for Sustainability (TURNS)




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