The built environment represents our surroundings at most times, with the majority of us living in urban spaces where architecture and urbanism are protagonists. I believe that architecture is the form of art that has the biggest impact on us, working with our subconscious mind, and most of us are unfortunately unaware of the influence of buildings on our well-being. Built spaces interact with our state of mind and our feelings, they define the atmosphere and our relationship with the city and its inhabitants. The built environment is important to us as individuals because of the emotional meaning we tend to give to spaces around us; the city we were born in, the neighbourhood where we grew up, the street where we had our first kiss, they all become spaces of affect. We build inner cities inside ourselves, they form and define us, and the sight of places dear to us brings up certain feelings. But protecting the built environment is not only and individual concern, based on our preferences and memories, but also a collective one, and it should be one of our main concerns. Their protection is a question of responsibility towards past and future generations alike. As John Ruskin stated, built heritage ''does not belong to us, but to the people who createdit and, at the same time, to the future generations''. Old buildings stand for the values of the past, and their destruction means losing our history. Preserving them should be our duty, and this implies permanent care in order to prevent destruction. In my essay I will focus on why it is important to protect what is already built and how we could adapt old buildings to contemporary functions in order to repurpose them. I am not against building new architecture; I believe it is important to define a new style of our age. There are situations when the old heritage needs to be destroyed so that we could build for the future. But new constructions should respect certain imposed laws of building, and follow a well thought theoretical discourse, which I believe to be lacking nowadays. The new should respect the old, not compete with or overwhelm it.