Leading built environment institutes launch global advisory group for humanitarian action

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) are pleased to announce the formation of the UK’s first advisory group on built environment issues within a global humanitarian context. The group was launched this morning at a special event during Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador.

The UK Built Environment Advisory Group (UKBEAG) brings together the collective expertise of the three founding institutes and their professional members to support a range of humanitarian and development partners, including UK and international governments, in preparing for and responding to humanitarian crises from floods, droughts and earthquakes to conflict situations.

Together the founding member institutes have over 100,000 members working in more than 150 countries throughout the world. Their skills in sustainable development, planning, infrastructure, architecture, structural engineering and project management will provide critical expertise as well as technical capacity, remotely or in the field.

The UKBEAG will also offer support to the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), together with associated humanitarian agencies.

Speaking today RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“I am delighted that RIBA has co-founded the UK Built Environment Advisory Group, a vital new global resource for communities facing humanitarian disaster and the agencies that support them. RIBA is committed to supporting and enabling our members to share their expertise with communities preparing for or reacting to crisis, and are very pleased to have established this new network for involvement in the humanitarian field.”

Phil Williams, RTPI President, said:  

“As towns and cities around the world experience ever increasing pressure from growing populations and climate change, it is all the more important that urban planning expertise and training is shared to help communities become more resilient against man-made and natural crises. The Royal Town Planning Institute represents some of the most experienced planners in the UK and worldwide and is proud to have co-founded the UK Built Environment Advisory Group to enable our members to get involved in humanitarian work to help communities and aid agencies.”

Martin Powell, Chief Executive of the IStructE, said:
“I am delighted that the Institution is a co-founder of the UK Built Environment Advisory Group. Our members are based in over 100 countries around the world and have essential skills and expertise that can have a big impact, helping to save lives or rehabilitate people in response to crises. 
“I am sure that the UKBEAG will help address the real requirement for better links between people with expertise and people in need.” 

More information on the UKBEAG can be found here:


Notes to editors

For further press information contact Melanie Mayfield in the RIBA Press Office 020 7307 3662

The United Kingdom Built Environment Advisory Group – Supporting Humanitarian Action (UKBEAG) is open to other professional institutes by invitation.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates @RIBA   

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) promotes the power of spatial planning in creating sustainable, inclusive and prosperous places and vibrant communities. Follow us on Twitter: @RTPIPlanners or @internatRTPI

The Institution of Structural Engineers is the world’s largest membership organisation dedicated to the art and science of structural engineering. It is a leading source of expertise on all structural engineering and public safety issues in the built environment. @iStructE

Posted on Wednesday 19th October 2016

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