Rio de Janeiro named as World Capital of Architecture for 2020

by Andrew Manns | 23 Jan 2019

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have named Rio de Janeiro as the first World Capital of Architecture.

In its capacity as the 2020 architecture capital, the seaside metropolis, which currently boasts a population of more than 6.32 million people, will hold a series of events under the theme "All the worlds, just one world".

According to UNESCO, the city's programme of activities will also promote the organisation's commitment – outlined in its 2030 Agenda– to making cities and human settlements "inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable".

Rio de Janeiro will also host the UIA World Congress, an event that takes place every three years.

Speaking on the announcement, UNESCO's assistant director-general for culture, Ernesto Ottone R, said: "Through the range and quality of its activities, the World Capital of Architecture in Rio de Janeiro will demonstrate the crucial role of architecture and culture in sustainable urban development."

A collaboration reflecting the decades-long partnership between UNESCO and the UIA, the "World Capitals of Architecture" project was signed into action in November 2018.

Describing the purpose of the initiative, Thomas Vonier, president at UIA, explained: "We want to highlight how architects, with the help of local governments and communities, can play a key role in identifying solutions that benefit communities.

"Connecting culture and architecture is essential to create inclusive, productive and sustainable cities and communities for all."

Rio de Janeiro  UNESCO 
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have named Rio de Janeiro as the first World Capital of Architecture. In its capacity as the 2020 architecture capital, the seaside metropolis, which currently boasts a population of more than 6.32 million people, will hold a series of events under the theme "All the worlds, just one world". According to UNESCO, the city's
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The Brazilian city, famous for its iconic Christ the Redeemer colossus, is home to more than 6.3 million people. / Photo by Raphael Nogueira, courtesy of Unsplash
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