The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 & The Built Environment Sector in Wales conference on 24 January brought together the public and private sector to consider the impacts of long-term development and how to create a sustainable legacy for future generations that protects the planet. It also posed the question: should the construction industry in Wales be considered the 45th body to sign up to the Act?
Those attending were given a series of thought-provoking presentations on a range of topics to win hearts and minds – from living with and building for a sustainable future under a changing climate to breaking the vicious circle of blame and building the business case for developing sustainable buildings, environments and places.
We were then invited to consider the seven well-being goals from the perspective of the construction industry and how we could achieve these goals. Each group presented a range of innovative and aspirational solutions, but what was clear, is that it will take a shift change, with the public and private sector working together to achieve a common goal.
In response to the difficulties experienced trying to effectively engage local communities, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, stressed the need to be willing to invest in a long-term commitment to an iterative process that provides feedback on how people have influenced change.
It will be interesting to see how the construction industry responds to the Act, but it’s clear that over time there will be a need and an expectation that new developments in Wales are mindful of the well-being goals.
Jo Hatton Jones, Director