The 21st century has seen significant shifts in climate variables, reflected in the form of extreme weather conditions and events, coupled with infectious diseases and viruses, presenting societies and organizations today with major, and occasionally unprecedented, challenges. Consequently, the resulting disruptions and their consequences are changing the Built Environment (BE), forcing the world to rethink buildings and urban areas as well as leverage innovative sustainable solutions. In light of the extraordinary risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change impacts escalated in the form of an increased frequency of natural hazard occurrences in cities, and therefore current research is now highlighting the importance of the role of the Built Environment in supporting public health measures, thus reducing the risk of infections and creating a positive force for the development of healthy urban centers.
The Built Environment is, indeed, of major importance within the context of the wider social and economic environment and its quality is directly correlated to the emergence of serious diseases, such as respiratory ones, and others that are psychological or psychiatric. Recent predicaments have shown the limitations of building efficiency, comfort conditions, and deficiencies of the different dimensions of the Built Environment in, both, the indoors and outdoors. As a result, well-referenced solutions are now emerging and developing, ranging from proposed alterations to the space organization, building materials, and design of urban areas, in an effort to increase resilience, improve air quality and lower energy requirements of using materials. However, there are more lessons to be learned and efforts to be made towards a more sustainable and resilient environment, by means of a multidisciplinary scientific and policy-making effort.
By focusing on sustainable and comfortable urban built environments, with an emphasis on the correlation between architecture, engineering, and medicine facets in regards to whole comfort and wellbeing, we find the need to further pursue advancements in this conference's field. This conference brings together researchers and practitioners from the Engineering and Health sectors to involve them in a conversation that emphasizes what it is to take part in the science of built environment and climate change and human resilience.
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