The Davos Declaration 2018 “Towards a high-quality Baukultur for Europe”

14 Mar 2018

On 21 and 22 January this year, European culture ministers met in Davos, on invitation from the President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset. The theme was “Towards a high-quality Baukultur for Europe”

The term “Baukultur” means any human activity that aims to transform the constructed environment, including elements designed and built within the natural environment. Baukultur sees existing buildings and infrastructure, contemporary architectural creations and cultural heritage monuments, public spaces and landscapes as a single entity. It refers to specific construction methods as well as large-scale urban developments, traditional crafts and local expertise as well as innovative techniques.

On the eve of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), ministers from the signatory countries of the European Cultural Convention adopted a joint Declaration indicating the need for a high-quality Baukultur to be firmly embedded at a political and strategic level in Europe.

A high-quality Baukultur may be expressed through conscious and high-quality design in all activities that have an impact on construction and landscapes, underpinned by cultural values, while ensuring that people’s social and cultural needs are met in order to improve quality of life, well-being, social cohesion and social integration. A high-quality Baukultur also paves the way for generating added value from an economic standpoint.

The Davos Declaration emphasises the key role of culture in the quality of people’s lives: it recalls that building is a cultural act that helps to pursue the common good and explains that there can be no democratic, peaceful and sustainable development without culture at its heart.

Through the Davos Declaration, the ministers have committed to including the vision of a high-quality Baukultur in their key policy objectives, to promoting its principles to the other government members, stakeholders and the public, and to encouraging public and private stakeholders to recognise the beneficial impact on society by acknowledging one’s own responsibilities in helping to achieve it.

Read the declaration: Davos Declaration

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