Postponed to July 2021 because of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the 27th World Congress of Architects is organising virtual discussions as part of a collaborative open platform fostering reflections and proposals on tackling contemporary urban challenges.
The countdown to this event began with the launch of special content in social networks and a new UIA2021RIO channel on YouTube. These video statements and interviews feature speakers, contributors and partners talking about post-pandemic transformations in urban configurations, exploring the contributions of architects and urban planners to society.
The Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB) president Nivaldo Andrade launched the One Year To Go! campaign by underscoring the importance of discussions of cities during the current crisis: “the coronavirus epidemic spotlighted structural, social and environmental shortfalls in urban centres. And it is up to all of us to provide input for urgent responses to contemporary challenges,” he stressed, adding that other development models will be needed for the XXI century.
Pursuing this same line of thought, the Pan-American Federation of Architects’ Associations (FPAA) president Fabián Farfán proffered an open invitation to engage in deep reflection on cities during the coming months, “so that effective proposals can be presented in July next year at UIA2021RIO.”
In turn, Argentine architect Zaida Muxi explored issues that are fundamental to discussions of cities: the right to housing, the gender perspective, diversity and others. Mobility and public spaces were the topics highlighted by the International Council of Portuguese-Speaking Architects (CIALP) President Rui Leão, while artist and environmentalist Oskar Metsavaht analysed the importance of art and culture for the construction of more inclusive and supportive cities. The Rio de Janeiro Municipal Culture Secretary, Adolpho Konder stressed the importance of democratising cultural facilities in the city.
A keynote speaker at UIA2021RIO, Elizabeth de Portzamparc recorded a video noting that much housing is inappropriate, exploring how cities can become more resilient and more sustainable through an ‘ecosystemic architecture’.
The One Year To Go! campaign also included a statement from architect Camilla Van Deurs in Copenhagen, which is the host city for the 2023 World Congress of Architects. She notes that the title of World Capital of Architecture granted by UNESCO confirms the responsibility of preserving and protecting heritage assets, while also commenting on the challenges faced by Copenhagen resulting from climate change.
Two very special interviews celebrated the inauguration of the UIA2021RIO channel on YouTube: born in Burkina Faso, Diébédo Francis Kéré was the guest interviewed by Rio architect Miguel Pinto Guimarães. He talked about his career, discussed his project designs and urged a “return to traditional construction methods and materials”, sending a message to the new generation of architects.
The other interview featured International Union of Architects (UIA) president Thomas Vonier, with Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO. He stressed that “diversity is at risk” at this time when many culture centres are closed, many of them without a reopening date in sight.
Also a keynote speaker at UIA2021RIO, Mexico’s Tatiana Bilbao was interviewed by Brazilian architect Tainá de Paula. Among other issues, she talked about sustainability and social inclusion in metropolises in various countries.
Check out all this content by accessing the campaign website:
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