18.01.2019 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Rio is the first World Capital of Architecture

Rio de Janeiro (RJ) is officially the World Capital of Architecture for 2020. The announcement was made today (January 18, 2018) by the UNESCO Assistant Director-General of Culture, Ernesto Renato Ottone Ramirez, representing the Director General, Audrey Azoulay, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The ceremony was attended by the Municipal Secretary of Urbanism, Verena Andreatta, representing the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, the President of the International Union of Architects (UIA), Thomas Vonier, the President of the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB), Nivaldo de Andrade, and the President of the Executive Committee of the 27th UIA World Congress, Sérgio Magalhães.

From now on, the cities hosting the UIA World Congress, held every three years, will also be designated by UNESCO as the World Capital of Architecture. With this title, the cities are responsible for promoting a series of events related to urban issues, throughout the year in which the Congress will take place.

Rio de Janeiro was selected, in 2014, to host the Architecture World Congress of 2020, competing with Paris (France) and Melbourne (Australia). For this, the cityhall and IAB prepared a program  a program for the event and defined a theme of global interest, which was "All the worlds. Just one world”, which were presented to UIA.

"Our commitment is to turn the year 2020 into a landmark in the cultural history of the city. In addition to the international visibility, we will have the opportunity to extend the relationship of belonging of the residents of our city with its historical and architectural heritage, propagating and preserving this collection. Rio de Janeiro has an architecture that reflects the wealth of cultures that created the Brazilian society, since the city had been the port and the capital of Brazil for more than two centuries", defends Mayor Marcelo Crivella.

Events such as this one collaborate to the achievement of two important United Nations development agendas: the main one, the 2030 Agenda, especially the Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11), which focuses on cities and human settlements, as well as the New Urban Agenda.

The Representative and Director of UNESCO in Brazil, Marlova Jovchelovitch Noleto, emphasizes that "culture and architecture are fundamentals for overcoming challenges and innovative solutions for urban spaces”. She added that "to have Rio as the first World Capital of Architecture is a fact to be celebrated by the country, since the city will become the stage of a series of events in 2020 to address important issues to development such as culture, urban planning, mobility, public works and construction of more inclusive cities. In addition to this title, the city is still recognized for hosting two World Cultural Heritage sites - Rio de Janeiro: Carioca landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea and Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site.

The president of IAB, Nivaldo de Andrade, points out that this is the first time that Brazil hosts the World Congress of Architects. He highlights that "Rio is a reference of architecture, being the land of so many architects and landscapers worldwide known as Oscar Niemeyer, Roberto Burle Marx, Lucio Costa who helped to build the urban landscape of Rio. The city is also a reference of contemporary challenges for architects and positive experiences in the field of urbanism, such as favela urbanization programs. We can say that Rio synthesizes characteristics found in cities not only in Brazil, but in different countries around the world".

The president of the Executive Committee of the 27th UIA World Congress, Sérgio Magalhães, complements: "architects and urbanists, academics, scholars and cultural producers from around the world will meet in Rio de Janeiro in 2020 to call the attention of society and governments on urban issues of global concern in order to build a positive agenda for the coming years. Knowing the value and challenges of urban space, we can achieve answers and solutions capable of leading to a more fair future".

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