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Climate Change and Architecture: Mitigation and Adaptation. Strategies for a Sustainable Development
Buildings are responsible nowadays for more than half of the energy consumption worldwide, significantly contributing- with the CO2 emissions they trigger - to the very causes of climate change. The knowledge gap that exists with respect to how emissions from built environments can be mitigated and, simultaneously, how buildings and their occupants can adapt to shifts in global and local climate must be filled, involving integration of established knowledge, advanced design strategies, application of innovative technologies and multidisciplinary research. Although the evidence of climate change is supported by large consensus, the amount of data and predictions currently available often results in ambiguous information for climate non-specialists. Starting from a review of the Fourth Assessment Report published by the IPCC, the paper examines the interactions between human systems and dynamic environmental forces, trying to underline the causes and consequences of the evident alteration in the climatic equilibrium of the planet and exploring how built environments can contribute to mitigate and adapt to these changing conditions.