European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen addresses Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Ms. von der Leyen and Prof. von Braun at the Academy in Rome.

June 09, 2022.  


The Vatican, June 9, 2022. The Reconstructing the Future for People and Planet Conference is hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and Bauhaus Earth, and begins today at the Casina Pio IV, the PAS headquarters, in the Vatican Gardens.

The conference is chaired by Prof. Joachim von Braun,  President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and opened with a speech*) from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. It brought together world-renowned scientists, architects, spatial planners, and policy makers to discuss the transformation of the built environment from a driver of climatic and societal crises into a force for planetary regeneration.

In his game-changing encyclical Laudato si’ on the “care for our common home”, Pope Francis addresses, inter alia, the deplorable state of the contemporary built environment: “We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.”

The built environment is also a crucial factor in the climate equation: Buildings and infrastructures are directly responsible for roughly 40% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, if one adds up the effects of construction, operation, and demolition.

The program includes keynote speeches from Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of Bauhaus Earth and PAS Academician; and Francis Kéré, architect and this year’s Pritzker Prize Recipient.


About the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has its roots in the Accademia dei Lincei, founded in Rome in 1603 as the first exclusively scientific academy in the world, which counted Galileo Galilei as its a member. Pope Pius XI renewed and reconstituted the Academy in 1936, giving it its present name. The PAS, which is placed under the direct protection of Pope Francis, is focused on the separate branches of science, while stressing the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation. Today PAS activities range from a traditional interest in pure research to a concern with the ethical and environmental responsibility of the scientific community.


About Bauhaus Earth

Bauhaus Earth is a nonprofit organization, based in Potsdam and Berlin, dedicated to the transformation of the construction sector and building policies into creative forces for environmental preservation and systemic regeneration. Founded in 2019, Bauhaus Earth brings together experts from the fields of architecture and planning, the arts, science, governance, and industry. Through deep-research, demonstration projects and political advocacy, Bauhaus Earth is helping to create buildings, cities, and landscapes that serve our planet and its inhabitants. The Laudes Foundation is a financial supporter and partner of Bauhaus Earth.


*) You can read Ms. von der Leyen's full speech here:

Prof. Joachim von Braun is President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and distinguished Professor at ZEF.

Photo credit: Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS).


Joachim von Braun

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun