The Roles of Architects in Sustainable Community Development

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Sant Chansomsak
Brenda Vale


To create sustainability in a community, architects need to integrate the concept of sustainable community
development in their actions both as citizens and professionals. While the role of architects as professionals
can be defined as a process to preserve, improve and create the required quality of built environment under the
particular condition of each community, in an ideal and sustainable world their role as citizens should be to
become sustainable members of their own community. This paper aims to consider ways in which architects
can fulfill both roles and thus act for community sustainability. Although this analysis is idealistic rather than
realistic it does suggest principles on which architects can base their actions in sustainable community
development, related to realization of their roles and responsibility, personal self-improvement, professional
and citizen actions for a sustainable community, and collaborative development. These principles interrelate
with and influence each other. Although architects’ roles in sustainable community development can vary with
the particular situation, their actions as professionals and citizens always overlap. To strengthen architects’
actions for sustainable community development, continual encouragement and development at personal and
collaborative levels is required.


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