A global programme exploring the intersections of gender, climate, sustainability and heritage through community and built environments.

The programme is co-developed with international partners to promote greater awareness and alternatives in responding to global challenges for people and planet.

The foundational activity, ‘climate-responsive structures’ is developed in partnership with Yasmeen Lari, from Heritage Foundation Pakistan, BRAC University and INTBAU.

Climate Responsive Structures

In 2020, British Council started developing a gender and climate change programme with Heritage Foundation Pakistan later to be joined by BRAC University in Bangladesh. In 2021, INTBAU chapters in Pakistan and the UK joined the programme. The programme aims to emphasise and exemplify the empowerment of women in design and construction, as well as the vital roles that local materials and traditional methods of designing and building can play in providing a better built future both for people and our planet.

It was initiated through a gender grant to Heritage Foundation Pakistan to pilot the build of zero carbon structures by women in both Pakistan and Bangladesh, based on Yasmeen Lari’s designs. Lari created a series of video tutorials on YouTube’s Zero Carbon Channel to enable even lay persons to follow step by step instructions for constructing low cost safe bamboo and earth structures, which include an earthen Pakistan Chulah (stove), a prefabricated room for shelter and toilet for privacy. Initially the project aimed to test the capabilities of these online tutorials and the adaptation needed for different countries and climates. As a result of the project, several new resources were created and over 25 institutions became involved, with wide impact in both countries.

The project will travel to Granary Square in London from 21 – 26 May 2022, where students will build the bamboo structure, alongside a programme of activities - sharing stories, knowledge and skills between women from Bangladesh, Pakistan and the UK with the public. The events will include cooking sessions, talks, workshops and other activities, especially promoting the voices of young women.  

The full programme in London can be found here.