An understanding of the whole and the qualities of a place
Traditionally, architects have been at the helm of municipalities’ planning offices due to their ability to think holistically and ensure a sustainable development of buildings, urban spaces and landscapes that matches the area’s general expression, while respecting the spirit of the place. And this is also in demand, both in municipalities that are developing at a rapid pace, where new buildings are cropping up everywhere, and also where there is a need to initiate development.
Regardless, not many young, recently qualified architects look towards municipal planning and administration. And this annoys Lars Autrup, CEO of the Danish Architects’ Association:
“Many young architects do not consider a job in the public sector as creative and developing. However, architects who work in the municipal sector have great opportunities to influence the development or transformation of entire areas, or how the municipality’s new culture house should be incorporated into the urban area. You help create the overall framework that ensures beautiful, healthy, sustainable and functional buildings that relate to the qualities of the place. And this is where the architect can really make a difference”.
Good job opportunities in the municipalities
According to The Union of Architects and Designers (FAOD), there are also good reasons in terms of employment for young architects to be more aware of the opportunities offered by the municipal sector:
“We see that particularly young architects mostly orient themselves towards a few design studios located in the big cities. This is a pity. In the municipalities, there are many exciting challenges that call for highly skilled architects. The green transition often starts in the municipalities, and it is in the municipalities that the architects can leave their mark on the way society develops. Architects who find employment in the municipalities are often extremely satisfied with their jobs. This is due to the high potential for developing professionally and the responsibilities they are given – but it is also due to the well-structured and safe employment conditions”, says CEO of The Union of Architects and Designers, Arne Ennegaard Jørgensen.
Architecture students show an increased interest in urban and landscape development
In architecture schools, they see an increased interest in urban and landscape development among the students:
“These years, architecture students are driven by a social commitment and the desire to work across disciplines. And we notice a growing interest among students, who precisely see the municipalities as an opportunity to practice their profession and help influence the major agendas. But we want to open the eyes of even more architecture students and young architects to the municipalities’ increased focus on developing urban areas and landscapes, where environmental concerns and social sustainability are in focus along with architectural qualities”, say both Prorector at Aarhus School of Architecture, Kristine Leth Juul and Head of the School of Architecture of The Royal Danish Academy, Jakob Brandtberg Knudsen.