In Brief

Copenhagen named 2023 World Capital of Architecture

Following in the (now-delayed) footsteps of Rio, Copenhagen will serve as host city for the World Congress of Architects and UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2023. (Katrine Bengtsson/Unsplash)

The Danish capital of Copenhagen, host city for the 28th World Congress of Architects (which will be convened by the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 2023), has also been named as the second UNESCO World Capital of Architecture. Rio de Janeiro, host city of the 2021 World Congress, will begin its (delayed) reign as the inaugural World Capital of Architecture starting next year.

The designation is a relatively new one established in 2019 by UNESCO in partnership with the UIA to coincide with the long-running global event, held triennially by the United Nations-recognized, nongovernmental organization. The 27th World Congress in Rio, to be held this July, was pushed back to July 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The first World Congress was first held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1948, and has since taken place in a diverse range of cities throughout the decades including Moscow (1958), Prague (1967), Mexico City (1978), Cairo (1985), Beijing (1999), Berlin (2002), and Seoul (2017). The UIA World Congress has only convened once in the United States, in Chicago, in 1993. The 2023 World Congress in Copenhagen will mark the first time the event has been hosted by a Nordic city.

“Copenhagen ranks as one of the most liveable and loveable cities in the world and is aiming to keep this title,” reads the World Congress 2023 event page. “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.”

Per English-language Danish newspaper the CPH Post, between 10,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, themed Design for a Sustainable Future. It’s an appropriate one considering Copenhagen’s admirable goal to be completely carbon-neutral by 2025.

“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 Post.

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