Paris, 18 January—The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, announced the designation of the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) as the first UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture for 2020, in the presence of Marcello Crivella, Mayor of the city, and Thomas Vonier, President of the International Union of Architects (UIA), on Friday 18 January at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

In keeping with UNESCO’s recent partnership agreement with the UIA, UNESCO is to designate as World Capital of Architecture the cities elected to host the UIA World Congress. The World Capital of Architecture will thus become an international forum for debate on pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, heritage, urban planning and architecture.

As the first World Capital of Architecture, Rio de Janeiro will hold a series of events with a particular focus on promoting the 11th Goal of the internationally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

UNESCO, the UIA and local institutions will organize activities to promote projects involving architects, urban planners, policy makers, social institutions, the art and culture sector and the general public in a creative environment open to dialogue, debate and innovation.