/What are the SDGs?

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are part of a breakthrough global agreement called the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the United Nations on September 25, 2015.

Their purpose? Transform the world.

The SDGs are UNIVERSAL. They apply to every nation, every sector, every business, and every profession– including design, architecture, and city planning.

The SDGs are about INTEGRATION. They demand a new emphasis on a systemic approach that does not sacrifice environmental and social considerations to economic gain, but rather seeks for true synergies and solutions that benefit people, nature, and prosperity.

The SDGs are about TRANSFORMATION. They challenge us to rethink the way we live, to rebuild all the systems that are degrading ecological and human health — and to make our world sustainable.

What do the SDGs have to do with design?

The SDGs challenge us to reimagine the way we live and bring to life the design elements of a new, sustainable world.

They cover nearly every aspect of our future — for our planet, and for humankind. They concern all people, all countries, and all parts of society. There are 17 in total, and they amount to nothing less than a complete transformation of global civilization.

Design, architecture and city planning play a critical role in the creation of a sustainable world.

The lifespan of the SDGs lasts until the year 2030. But the ideas, solutions, buildings, and things created by designers, architects, and creative professionals like you will last far longer than any deadline. They will continue to impact and transform our world, its systems, and people for years and generations to come.

That’s why the role you play is so critically important. The design decisions you make have the power to not only help us achieve these goals, but lead us into the sustainable future far beyond them.

Have you signed the Oslo Manifesto yet?
What does sustainable design look like in practice?

The Oslo Manifesto reframes the SDGs as 17 questions for sustainable design. Scroll over the goals below to reveal each one.