Barcelona named Unesco’s 2026 world capital of architecture

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia (Mapics/Dreamstime)
Barcelona has been named as the world capital of architecture for 2026 by heritage organisation Unesco and the Union of International Associations (UIA).

The triennial award went to Copenhagen in 2023 and Rio de Janeiro in 2020.

Barcelona will act as a hub for discussions on the city’s urban planning and architecture in conjunction with the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España and the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Cataluña.

Audrey Azoulay, Unesco’s director general, said: “We are pleased to see the baton of the World Capital of Architecture title pass onto Barcelona for 2026.

“Barcelona will continue to elaborate on Copenhagen’s accomplishments – by conveying the way in which architecture and culture can respond to today’s challenges for the global public good and future generations.”

José Luis Cortés, UIA president, said: “With Copenhagen, we have been able to build on the successes of Rio de Janeiro to bring the World Capital of Architecture initiative to a wider audience that is able to better participate following the abatement of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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