The city will host the World Congress of the International Union of Architects, which will address the challenges of new sustainable cities.
The world of architecture will only have eyes for Barcelona in 2026, after the Union Association of Architects (UIA) decided, in Rio de Janeiro, that the Catalan city would become the UIA-Unesco World Capital of Architecture that year and hosting also the prestigious congress of the entity itself.
Barcelona, which was designated a finalist in early 2020, beat Beijing by 147 votes to 129. Barcelona's nomination was promoted by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Barcelona City Council, the Superior Council of the Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) and the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC), in a union of forces that commemorates collective initiatives such as those that led to the celebration of the 1992 Olympic Games or the Forum of Cultures in 2004.
The decision was made in Rio de Janeiro, which currently holds the title of World Capital of Architecture. The Brazilian city will maintain that distinction until 2023, when Copenhagen will give it up. It will be the Danish capital that in 2026 will pass the precious witness to Barcelona.
Multidisciplinary cultural activities in collaboration with experts from various countries around the world to transfer to society the importance of architecture and urban planning make up one of the great attractions of the designation, but the true star event is the celebration of the congress, which It has been convening since 1948. And Barcelona has experience of that, insofar as it already hosted one in 1996, under the heading "Present and Future: Architecture in cities". The success surprised everyone: the massive presence of the most brilliant architects of the moment was joined by more than 10,000 congressmen from 87 countries. The international echo was notorious. Under this memory, the motto of the congress for 2026 will be One today, one tomorrow, and the axis will be an exhaustive analysis of the role of architecture in the development of cities and new urban challenges in a sustainable world.
“Holding this event is a great opportunity to strengthen the role of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain as centers of production and thought in contemporary architecture and urban design”, the CSCAE stated in a note. The Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning of the Catalan Consistory, Janet Sanz, welcomed the decision and assured that the election will position Barcelona as a “cultural, social and economic reference”. “The city is more than prepared to lead the necessary transformation to make architecture and urbanism two tools at the service of sustainability and to make cities lasting spaces in the face of environmental challenges”, highlighted Sanz . In any case, the event is also seen as a breath in the international image of the city, after the bitter disappointments caused by the failed candidacies of the Catalan capital to be the headquarters of the European Medicines and Meteorology agencies.
Source: Diario El País.