The aims of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) are for ‘…the advancement of architecture in the Commonwealth and the promotion and acquisition of knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith. The Association shall…promote co-operation between associations of architects with the object of ensuring the maximum contribution by architects to the well-being of society”. The CAA is one of over 80 accredited organisations which support the work of the Commonwealth.
The CAA’s unique role resides in its ability to access, engage with and convene a wide range of influential Commonwealth partners and international agencies in pursuit of a better built environment for the benefit of all. The modern Commonwealth of Nations is an association of 56 independent and equal countries which is home to a combined population of 2.5 billion people, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age.
United by shared values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, the Commonwealth provides a platform from which to have impact at scale, not only among member states but also beyond.
Working with its partners, the CAA was the first to identify that Commonwealth countries are forecast to account for nearly 50% of the projected growth in towns and cities over the next 30 years. The CAA’s Survey of the Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth revealed a critical lack of capacity in many of the Commonwealth countries which are urbanising most rapidly and are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
By leveraging such evidence, together with other Commonwealth organisations the CAA has been able to support Commonwealth member states to recognise the critical nature of these issues and adopt a Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation which provides a guiding framework for the work ahead. Such advocacy, together with the CAA’s core activities focused on improving educational standards, increasing professional competency, building capacity and climate action are the cornerstones of its work and crucial to help drive sustainable development.
The CAA holds special consultative status with the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC), providing it with an opportunity to contribute to various international policymaking forums. It has a close working relationship with UN-Habitat and is a member of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC).