In January 2019, Rio de Janeiro became the first city to receive the title of World Capital of Architecture with the theme “All worlds. Just one World. Architecture 20”. The crowning of the city as World Capital of Architecture was officially celebrated on 2019-2020 New Year’s Eve. At the beginning of March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic, there were already more than 300 cultural projects registered as part of the WCA programme in the city.
Due to the pandemic, the UIA in consultation with UNESCO and the Institute of Architects of Brazil decided to postpone the Rio Congress, initially scheduled for July 2020, to July 2021. In doing so, the city of Rio held the WCA title for two consecutive years (2020 and 2021).
The team in Rio adopted digital communication methods including webinars and social media live broadcasts to continue its work and produce content linked to architecture, cities and the global pandemic. The rich content developed with the collaboration of students, architects and other professionals from around the word was converted to a series of e-books: My Rio, Foresights, Actions Against Pandemic, Sustainable Practices, Look at the Heritage and Programming of Rio UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture.