Dignity by Design

The built environment – the places where we live, work, and interact with others – has a defining influence over our ability to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. By 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Our efforts to address the world’s major challenges like inequality, mass migration, and climate change hinge in many ways on what we build, where, how, and for whom.  

There are implications for human rights at all stages of the built environment lifecycle. From land use, to design, to construction, and re-development, the private and public sectors have a major influence over the built environment. There is a clear need for strategic collaboration and interventions to ensure that the role of the private sector advances, rather than undermines, human rights. 

IHRB is working toward achieving a greater shared understanding of shared human rights risks, responsibilities and leverage between different actors around the built environment lifecycle, from planners and investors to developers, architects, and construction companies. We are working with practitioners, academia, and civil society to highlight innovation and good practice around affordable housing, inclusive public space, climate resilience, and exploring the human rights implications of technology in emerging smart cities. 

IHRB's foundational report is a call to action to advance dignity and human rights throughout the built environment lifecycle.