UIA2020Rio Site Interview: Roberto Simon

To bring South and Central Americas, and the Caribbean and their different realities to the heart of the debate. This should be one of the main points of the UIA2020Rio World Congress of Architects, says the architect and urban planner Roberto Simon, vice president of the International Union of Architects (UIA) for the Americas. He is a Carioca (person who is born in the city of Rio de Janeiro) however, he chose the South to live and pursue his professional activity. Simon always participated actively in trade associations: he presided over the Santa Catarina Department of the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB), he was among the first federal councilors of the Council of Architecture and Urbanism (CAU / BR) and has participated several times in the UIA Council. Now, he sees the largest event of the category landing in his hometown for the first time. It is quite a challenge. We spoke to Simon about the UIA2020Rio preparation.

- We have exactly two years to UIA2020. What is the best way to enjoy these last two years of preparation for the Congress?
More and more, time seems to fly at a different speed from last century. Therefore, regardless of whether it requires a lot of work from the assigned team that is truly engaged in the production of this immense work, it will certainly lead to intermediate events that will help in its construction and the maintenance of the lively discussion until its arrival in 2020.

- The UIA Congress is returning to the Americas after 27 years, and to Latin America after 42. How important is it for the region to host a World Congress again?
South and Central Americas, and the Caribbean have been outside the epicenter of long-range discussions for many years. These discussions were usually reserved for large forums (Conferences). These, which are mainly carried out in Asia, Europe and even North America, focus on completely different realities. Even within our continent it is important that there is a balance in the specific areas of interest. It is important to highlight that these regions are very ready while in ours there is still much to do.

- In case UNESCO grants the seal of approval, UIA2020 will be the first World Congress of Architects held in a World Capital of Architecture. How can the city benefit from this new world title?
The UNESCO seal to the city and the congress, respectively, will certainly elevate the city to another dimension and for a longer time. It is certain that important connections should occur from that decision. I give you as an example the link that should occur between the World Social Forum, COP, World Economic Forum, Docomomo, Habitat... In other words, different areas will be connected to architecture, urbanism and society.



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