Architecture and Public Policy

By Jurij Leshchyshyn.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

If ‘natural laws’ determine the behaviour of energy and the manifestation of this behaviour in the natural realm, then human laws, conceived of as public policy in democracies, govern the application of a miniscule portion of that energy by people to achieve, to manifest, some desired end. To date, this has resulted in many benefits accruing to certain people while disparate conditions exist for others. This has also historically led to, and has recently accelerated, a degradation of the biosphere for all. Public policy involves the design of systems of allotment of human and natural resources to achieve, ideally, some beneficial/benevolent end. Architecture, be it of individual buildings or urban scaled projects is, effectively, a most visible manifestation of various policies in the constructed environment. The skills, knowledge and values required to successfully achieve such manifestations are inherently broad in scope, effectively holistic. It is such a set of abilities and values that can positively contribute to the development of public policy at various levels and stages of the public policy process. Public policy is initiated, formulated, implemented and evaluated at local, regional and national levels. Exact processes may vary between jurisdictions but usually involve an overall set of ‘rules of engagement/ behaviour’ which all players abide by to varying degrees. Opportunities for public information and engagement are integral components of a public policy development process. Public policy initiatives can originate with an individual or group. Architecture and public policy share common objectives related to the individual and to society and the common good. Architecture and public policy are both design activities. This paper discusses reasons and opportunities for architects-citizens to become involved in public policy design recognizing that public policy can, in turn, affect architecture.

Keywords: Architecture, Public Policy, Architecture and Public Policy, Public Policy and Architecture

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.165-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 803.781KB).

Prof. Jurij Leshchyshyn

Professor and Assistant Chair, Student Affairs, Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jurij Leshchyshyn, Professor; BA (Hons.), BTech, March, OAA, MRAIC. Jurij Leshchyshyn holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Geography and Urban Studies from York University (Toronto), a Bachelor of Technology (Architectural Science) from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba. He has been a tenured faculty member for some twenty years, prior to which he was in private practice in Toronto as well as teaching part time at Ryerson in the Architectural Science program. Jurij Leshchyshyn has a focus on teaching. He has been involved in curriculum development, coordinating first year studios and participating in design studios across all years, teaching in technical courses involving building science aspects of the curriculum, systems, site planning and graphics courses, as well as supervising student theses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. More recently, and further to his interest in the affects of underlying influences on urbanity and architecture, he has developed a course titled Architecture and Public Policy which is offered to both undergraduate and graduate students.