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Copenhagen named UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2023

May 14, 2020

News has come in that Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, the host city for the 28th World Congress of Architects – to be convened by the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 2023 – has been named as the second UNESCO World Capital of Architecture.

Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2021 World Congress, and the inaugural World Capital of Architecture will begin its reign (later than expected) in 2021.

This title is relatively new, having been established in 2019 by UNESCO in partnership with the UIA to coincide with the long-running global event, held triennially by the United Nations-recognised, non-governmental organisation. The 27th World Congress in Rio, to be held this July, has already been rescheduled to take place in July 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The inaugural World Congress was first held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1948, and has since taken place in a number of cities around the world including Moscow (1958), Prague (1967), Mexico City (1978), Cairo (1985), Beijing (1999), Berlin (2002), and Seoul (2017). The 2023 World Congress in Copenhagen will make it the first Scandinavian city to host the event.

“Copenhagen ranks as one of the most liveable and loveable cities in the world and is aiming to keep this title,” according to a statement released by the World Congress 2023 event. “As host for the UIA World Congress, Copenhagen provides a unique combination of culture, tolerance, global connectivity, well-functioning public transport, green spaces, and high-quality architecture.” It’s notable that Copenhagen has set itself an ambitious goal to go completely carbon-neutral by 2025.

Danish English-language newspaper the CPH Post reports that between 10,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend the event whose theme is “Design for a Sustainable Future”. “The hosting of the World Capital of Architecture allows us to show all the good that Copenhagen can do,” Franciska Rosenkilde, the city’s Culture and Leisure Mayor, told the CPH Post.

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