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Rio de Janeiro named first UNESCO World Capital of Architecture for 2020

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Rio de Janeiro has officially been named UNESCO’s first World Capital of ArchitectureCreated in partnership with the International Union of Architects (UIA), the designation will take effect in 2020 and will shine a spotlight on the Brazilian city’s local institutions and projects that offer urban solutions to the greatest issues of our time.

According to UNESCO, the World Capital of Architecture will serve as an international annual forum to discuss global problems through the lenses of culture, heritage, urban, planning, and architecture. Throughout 2020, Rio de Janeiro will host a series of events organized under the theme: “All the worlds. Just one world.” The UIA will also host its triannual World Congress during the year-long event.

Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO’s assistant director-general of culture, said UNESCO and UIA have combined forces to establish the World Capital of Architecture in an effort to preserve architectural heritage around the world through the urban context.

“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,” he said. “Through this initiative, our ambition is to ensure that these cities are also perceived as open and creative spaces for exchange, invention, and innovation.”



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