This week’s selection is His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1981 Opening Remarks to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s Sixth Seminar, The Changing Rural Habitat held in Beijing, People’s Republic Of China.

Although made in 1981, this extensive speech on the plight of rural peoples and strategies for rural development is as relevant today as it was then. Noting that 80% of the non-industrialised world live in rural regions, the Aga Khan draws attention to the numerous challenges they face, such as poverty or lack of access to safe water. Although optimistic things “will change radically”, he cautions that those responsible for the built environment must be judicial in their use of technology “to ensure that [things] do not change for the worse” for, he observes, “if the events of the twentieth century thus far have taught us anything at all, they have taught us that technologies unguided by intelligence and compassionate understanding invariably create more problems — and more insoluble problems — than they remedy.”

The Aga Khan provides his insights and views on establishing sound, viable rural development programmes, noting in particular that “unless change takes account of rural life in all its aspects, unless it respects the past and the heritage of rural areas and peoples, unless it recognises the intricate ties between the physical and the social environment, it will fail to achieve planning and developing goals for each nation” and also “fail to stem the tide of people flooding into the cities.”

Click here for this NanoWisdoms’ Suggested Reading:
His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1981 Opening Remarks to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s Sixth Seminar, The Changing Rural Habitat (Beijing, People’s Republic Of China)

POSSIBLY RELATED READINGS (GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY)