UNESCO and UIA to begin Designating Cities as "World Capitals of Architecture"

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UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have announced the launch of a “World Capitals of Architecture” initiative, seeking to create a “synergy between culture and architecture in an increasingly urbanized world.”

Cities designated as World Capitals of Architecture will become a global forum for discussion on the world’s most pressing challenges “through the prism of culture, heritage, urban planning, and architecture.” UNESCO and UIA will collaborate with local city organizations to organize activities and events promoting buildings, architects, planners, and related sectors.

UNESCO's association with the UIA's World Capital of Architecture initiative marks a new step in our long-standing partnership. The aim is to create new synergies between culture and architecture in an increasingly urban world, in which cities are hubs for ideas, trade, culture, science and social development in particular. Through this initiative, our ambition is to ensure that these cities are also perceived as open and creative spaces for exchange, invention and innovation
-Ernesto Ottone R, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture

The initiative is a response to Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” As more people continue to move to cities, the initiative reflects a commitment by UNESCO and UIA to mobilize governments, preserve heritage, and adapt to climate change and mass urbanization.

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," said Thomas Vonier. "Connecting culture and architecture is essential to create inclusive, productive and sustainable cities and communities for all.
-Ernesto Ottone R, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture

News via: International Union of Architects