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Copenhagen named UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023

Denmark Architecture News - Jul 26, 2021 - 10:24   2748 views

Copenhagen named UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023

The city of Copenhagen has been officially named as World Capital of Architecture for 2023 by UNESCO, after a successful edition of the 27th UIA World Congress Of Architects in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Copenhagen will be the home of the UIA's 28th World Congress Of Architects in 2023, the announcement was made by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the recommendation of the General Assembly of the International Union of Architects (UIA).

Copenhagen named UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023

OMA's New Cultural Hub in Copenhagen. Image © Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

The initiative was established in collaboration with UNESCO and the UIA in 2018 UNESCO, highlighting the key role of architecture, city planning, and culture in shaping urban identity and sustainable urban development.

Held in every three years, the city designated as World Capital of Architecture becomes a global forum at the forefront of discussions on contemporary urban planning and architectural issues.

Within the scope of this initiative, the city of Copenhagen will be discusses in term of its architecture, urban planning and sustainable agenda that tackles today's most pressing issues.

Copenhagen named UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023

BIG’s Waste-To-Energy Plant in Copenhagen. Image © Aldo Amoretti

"We are very happy to see the torch of the World Capital of Architecture title pass to Copenhagen from Rio de Janeiro," said Audrey Azoulay.

"The inaugural World Capital of Architecture in Rio was a real success, underlining the important role of urban planning, notably in the pandemic context," she noted, adding that "Copenhagen will build upon Rio’s achievements, by continuing to show the way in which architecture and culture can respond to the challenges of our time, especially in the environmental field."

"This is a chance for ordinary people and world leaders to see the value of design in everyday lives," said UIA President Thomas Vonier.

"Our partnership with UNESCO reinforces the place of architecture and urban design in advancing cultural values and influences in society, so sorely needed in today’s world. Architects can see the world both as it is —and as it could be."

As the World Capital of Architecture for 2023, Copenhagen will host a series of major events and programmes on the theme "Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind." 

Copenhagen named UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2023

Cobe and Arup's passenger-focused metro stations in Copenhagen’s docklands. Image © Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

In cooperation with the Danish Association of Architects and various Nordic professional bodies, the municipality will examine how architecture and urban design contribute to meeting the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

From 18 to 22 July 2021, Rio de Janeiro held the World Congress of Architects as a virtual event due to the ongoing pandemic conditions and ongoing bans on large public gatherings in Brazil. 

Following Copenhagen in 2023, Barcelona and Beijing are the two contenders looking to claim the World Capital of Architecture title in 2026 and host the next World Congress. The official decision will be made later this year.

The International Union of Architects (UIA) is an international non-governmental organisation based in Paris. Established in 1948, it is the only organisation representing architects across the globe working to unify architects, influence public policies on construction and development, and advance architecture in service to the needs of society.

Top image: Copenhagen, courtesy of Copenhagen Marathon

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