Unesco and International Union of Architects begin search for “World Capitals of Architecture”

UN heritage organisation Unesco and the International Union of Architects (UIA) are launching an initiative to create a list of cities, dubbed the "World Capitals of Architecture", in an effort to confront three challenges: mass urbanisation, climate change and the preservation of architectural heritage.

The two bodies aim to counteract these problems by "developing opportunities through the mobilisation of local and national governments, the media and communities", according to a press release.

The city chosen as the world capitals will host events for architects, urban planners and experts from other sectors.

Ernesto Ottone, Unesco assistant director general for culture, said: "The aim is to create new synergies between culture and architecture in an increasingly urban world, in which cities are hubs for ideas, trade, culture, science and social development in particular.

"Through this initiative, our ambition is to ensure that these cities are also perceived as open and creative spaces for exchange, invention and innovation."

Thomas Vonier, UIA president, said: "We want to highlight how architects, with the help of local governments and communities, can play a key role in identifying solutions that benefit communities.

"Connecting culture and architecture is essential to create inclusive, productive and sustainable cities and communities for all."

Image: Ernesto Ottone and Thomas Vonier (Unesco and Christelle Alix)

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