26 July

UIA2021RIO: thanks and goodbye!

We hosted the largest-ever World Congress of Architects! Under extremely […]

We hosted the largest-ever World Congress of Architects!

Under extremely difficult conditions that undermined the feasibility of everything we had planned, and as fear and uncertainty spread worldwide, we nevertheless managed to join forces and innovate, making this the first 100% digital event run by the International Union of Architects.

With a Programme extending over five months, we attracted more than 85,000 attendees from 190 countries, mobilising people all over the world. To achieve all this, we relied on an outstanding team of contributors, speakers, discussants, and keynote speakers.

Ushering in a completely new and broad-ranging view of Architecture and Urban Planning, we explored what we could do to improve people’s lives, no matter where they live.

This Congress is a clear watershed, dividing the architecture of the spectacle to the architecture of the vernacular. Speakers shared their experiences, aware and firmly rooted in the specific characteristics of each of All The Worlds that are part of this great and interconnected Just One World.

We did it. We exceeded expectations.

Working together, we firmed up effective proposals.

Presented at the close of UIA2021RIO, the Charter of Rio is more than a simple declaration of principles: it is an effective contribution towards urban planning focused on citizen well-being, supporting public health, pursuing decent housing, and striving to reduce inequalities.

It is a manifesto around which we will remain united, urging diversity, respect, collective participation, public policies that promote equity, universal access to basic services, better urban mobility, and the harmonious and democratic use of urban space.

This global event will also keep us united through the exclusive UIA2021RIO platform (repository) storing all the content produced and disseminated during the past five months: discussions, ArchiTalks, seminars, awards, and many other sessions held in digital settings.

Looking ahead, complementary events are planned for the second half of the year at physical venues throughout Rio de Janeiro: in September, an exhibition pavilion will be set up for the Future Now exhibition in the Praça Mauá square, showcasing innovation in architecture using traditional materials, such as clay. Downtown, another exhibition will highlight Italian influence on the landscapes of Rio.

The partnership between the Chinese Society of Architects and the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB) will be celebrated by an exhibition on the architecture and culture of those countries, at the IAB headquarters and projected on selected buildings throughout the city.

Finally, here’s a reminder: don’t forget to issue your Architect 21 Certificate and display it, confirming that you were part of a landmark event that is unique in the history of world architecture.

Closing with the words of our leaders in the organisation of this great event, we say goodbye for now, in the hope that everyone will benefit to the hilt from everything accomplished at this 27th World Congress of Architects.

“Not only was this the largest Architecture and Urban Planning event in history, it was also the most significant. We gathered together architects and thinkers from all over the world, at the very moment when this was vital, just as the urgent need became clear for sweeping changes in the way that we are occupying the planet. And we presented new views and visions, showing that there are solutions and practices being developed in different parts of the world that can be replicated. We shared ideas, experience and expertise that will steer us towards a better future.”

Igor de Vetyemy, General Commissioner, 27th World Congress of Architects

This World Congress of Architects leaves major legacies, and one of them is the awareness that good cities depend on joint actions by many different actors – politics, culture, the economy and technologies. Today’s architect and urban planners need  increasingly multidisciplinary and humanistic educations and worldviews. And A UIA2021RIO was able to promote this: we planted a seed that is crucial for the construction of a better world.

Sérgio Magalhães, Chair, Executive Committee, 27th World Congress of Architects