Paris – 19 October 2017 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has approved a new initiative launched by the International Union of Architects (UIA), to designate the city chosen for the UIA World Congress of Architects as “The World Capital of Architecture.”
The UIA’s World Congress of Architects—most recently held in Seoul—provides a forum for professional and cultural exchange, bringing together thousands of participants from all over the world. Future UIA Congresses are set for Rio de Janeiro (2020) and Copenhagen (2023).
The main theme, the organisation and the full schedule of activities and events for the period will be taken in consideration when selecting the city to host this important global forum, which addresses the world’s most pressing issues in the built environment. The UIA Congress involves public and private sector representatives, architects, urbanists, academicians, and researchers—with many events and activities open to the public.
"The World Capital of Architecture designation shines a bright light on the value of building design and town planning," said UIA President Thomas Vonier. "It will offer an exciting policy-oriented counterpart to the Venice Biennale," he added, noting that the World Capital of Architecture location will change approximately every three years, based upon the location chosen for the World Congress of Architects.
Representing the world’s architects—today numbering some 3.2 million in all—the UIA is dedicated to building healthy environments and strong communities. The UIA mission is to unify the profession, influence public policies, and advance architectural practice. Established in 1948 and today comprised of more than 100 national member sections, the UIA supports policies and programmes that apply the power of design to meet human needs.
The UIA-UNESCO World Capital of Architecture is the latest joint program of the two global institutions. In 1956, UNESCO commissioned the UIA to develop standards to ensure transparency, equal opportunity and fairness in international architecture and urban planning competitions, now embodied in the UNESCO-UIA International Competitions Protocol. The UNESCO-UIA Charter on Architectural Education was issued in 1996, and is now used by the UIA Validation Council for Architectural Education to accredit schools of architecture.