The new law to help improve the quality of architecture and change the approach on its importance2015-07-21
The Ministry of the Environment has finally presented the draft Law on Architecture for consideration by the public and the stakeholders; the draft law was based on extensive discussions with the community of architects, public and municipal authorities, NGOs, as well as analysis of the situation of architecture locally, and that of the foreign best practice. The draft law shall be improved further, taking into account comments and proposals received; the deadline for these is 7 August.
According to Daiva Matonienė, Vice-minister of Culture, “the law is necessary and beneficial to the public and the country alike. It will contribute to changing the view taken by the public on the importance of architecture and improve its quality, facilitate the tasks of the public authorities, since it will specify every stage of planning, and lastly, it will disperse the legal uncertainty that has ever accompanied the status of chief municipal architects”.
To-date, national legislation governs selected architecture-related issues only. Effective concept of architecture does not sufficiently describe every field of architectural activities, does not establish principles governing these activities, and further fails to establish a holistic regulation of public relations as regards regulation of professional activities of an architect, his/her right to practice etc.
Key provisions that found their way into the draft law are based on the description of the policy areas of national architecture, approved by the Government in 2005, and the concept of the Law on Architecture, approved by the Government in 2009.
The draft law proposes establishment of quality criteria of the architecture, fields and principles of activities of an architect, setting aside the regulated professional activities of an architect, one that is subject to a mandatory certificate of qualification of architect, establishment of requirements applicable to the professional training of architects, listing rights and duties of a chief municipal architect, definition of powers of the Government, the Ministries of the Environment, Culture, and the Science and Education, as well as municipalities when it comes to making of the policy of architecture and urban development, including sources of funding to implement the policy in question. The draft law provides for the establishment of architectural and urban development councils; these would contribute to greater public awareness, would involve the public in the planning of both buildings and urban development complexes, as well as shaping of the areas and the landscape.
Adoption of the Law on Architecture would secure the importance of architecture, representing the outcome of some of the oldest and most resilient man-made cultural activities, shape a common concept of architectural, urban, and historic cultural environment, and would facilitate development of professional and quality architecture.
Public information division