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“First we shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.”

Winston Churchill

Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP

94th President

The American Institute of Architects

AIA Conference on Architecture   June 2018

Churchill’s words express a powerful truth that holds the key to our shared future. In shaping the built environment, we shape our lives.

In this century humanity crossed an historic threshold: we became an “urban” species. Today, more than half of all people live in cities. By century’s end, nearly nine in ten will.

As the urban era dawns, it is our opportunity, our responsibility, our destiny, to work together purposefully to create conditions where everyone, everywhere, can survive and thrive.

A lifetime of shaping buildings has shown me the truth of Churchill’s words and the urgency of the urban agenda confronting us culturally, socially, economically, and environmentally. Shaping cities to create the future we aspire to is the compelling challenge of our time.