Rio is the World Capital of Architecture. The title was awarded by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at a ceremony held at the institution's headquarters in Paris and is the result of the World Congress of Architects UIA2020Rio. This is the first time a city has received this designation - created last year in partnership between UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA). The ceremony was attended by UNESCO Assistante Director-General Ernesto Ottone, Rio's Secretary of Urbanism, Infrastructure and Housing, Verena Andreatta, UIA President Thomas Vonier, the President of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Architects, Sérgio Magalhães, and the president of the Institute of Architects of Brazil, Nivaldo Andrade.
- This title has an extreme importance for the city of Rio and the Brazilian architectural culture because it provides a dialogue with society that should create a new time to face the challenges of our cities - says Sérgio Magalhães.
Rio is very diverse in terms of its urban plan, which makes the city a unique case of interest to the architects of the whole world. Here, it’s possible to see common problems that happens in large urban centers of rich or developing countries.
- Although relatively new, the city of Rio has already left valuable references in the history of architecture. Throughout its few centuries, the city has had substantial transformations, of great magnitude, with complex techniques of contemporary engineering and urbanism. Few cities had such a significant change in their original topography. The title of World Capital of Architecture is a fair award for this rich history - highlighted Verena Andreatta, Rio's Secretary of Urbanism.
In addition to a recognition of the architectural, historical and cultural past of the city, the title is, above all, a great opportunity to reflect on its urban future.
- Rio is a world reference for quality architecture since the middle of the last century, and, now, this new title is another important step for the recognition of its architectural, urban and landscape values. We hope that the activities and debates that will take place throughout 2020 in Rio - whose landscape is made up of contrasts not only geographically but also social - reinforce the society’s understanding about the role of architects and urban planners to improve the quality of people’s life, especially those living in the most precarious conditions - argues Nivaldo Andrade.