The new Government ratifies the Catalan Architecture Bill

© Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC)

The Catalan Government thus demonstrates its public commitment with good practice of architecture and opens the way for the parliamentary proceedings of the future Law of Architecture.

Three years of intense work, with the support of the COAC
This legislative initiative originated three years ago when the Catalan Government, with the leadership of the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability and the support of the COAC, decided to start the drafting of the future Law of Architecture. In August 2015, the former Catalan Executive approved the Architecture Bill, which was not submitted to the Parliament due to the election call.

The COAC has worked closely with the Department of Territory and Sustainability during all the process, joining efforts in this common goal. The COAC was part of the workgroup that set the first guidelines and, afterwards, participated in the committee that produced the draft bill. All this work has been possible thanks to the support and implication of colleagues and associations such as Arquitectes per l’Arquitectura.

Content of the Bill
The Bill, based on the establishment of the value of architecture as a public good, develops measures to foster and promote architecture and to encourage and sponsor architectural quality, both in building construction and in public spaces and planning.

The text recognizes the social value of architecture and establishes measures for the promotion, fostering and teaching of architecture and its effect on our living conditions. In this regard, actions by the public administration through various instruments are foreseen, from the creation of the Catalan Council of Architectural Quality as a government advisory body, to fostering specific local policies.

In the field of public contracting, the Bill contains measures to guarantee that architectural quality gets a predominant role in assessment criteria. It also handles the continuity between architectural project and construction management, as well as the appropriate composition of juries and the establishment of guidelines for bidding values in public tenders. In addition, it seeks to promote that procedures will allow young graduates into the profession. 

At the European level
In recent years, the European Union has implemented directives and resolutions which highlight the contribution made by architecture in urban and rural environments, acknowledging its major role in public policies.

Accordingly, the EU has recommended the promotion of architectural quality by fostering its values ​​among the citizens and adopting exemplary policies of public construction. However, these directives have not yet been fully transposed in any of the EU state members. Therefore, the new Catalan Architecture Bill becomes an international benchmark, together with the French Bill, now in process, related to creative freedom, architecture and heritage (“Loi CAP, Création, Architecture, Patrimoine”).

The COAC is confident that, once approved by the Catalan Parliament, the Law of Architecture will respond to the needs of society, architecture and architects of the present and the future, improving the knowledge and social awareness of the importance of architecture and the work made by architects.

· Read the Catalan Architecture Bill approved on August 4, 2015
Read the French Bill on Freedom of Creation, Architecture and Heritage, March 1, 2016